- Associated Press - Friday, July 15, 2016

DEADWOOD, S.D. (AP) - Residents of Lawrence County will get the chance to vote on a proposed rock quarry that has run into opposition.

County commissioners last month narrowly approved a permit for Rapid City-based Mountain View Ranches LLC, which is planning a 192-acre sand, gravel and rock quarry off Crook City Road. The 3-2 vote on June 9 to approve the project with dozens of conditions aimed at limiting the quarry’s impacts on the surrounding area came after a public hearing that lasted three hours.

Some area residents worry the operation will jeopardize historic trails and lead to other problems including noise, dust and road damage. They gathered enough petition signatures to bring the matter to a public vote.

“We just want to bring awareness to everybody that it could happen in their backyard, or in their front yard,” Kevin Farmer, director of the opposition group Save Centennial Valley, told KOTA-TV.

Mountain View Ranches maintains that the area is appropriate for a quarry. The company has said only 10 acres would be operated at a time, and that land would be reclaimed as the work progressed.

The petition to let the public decide on the permit included more than 1,100 signatures. County Auditor Connie Atkinson told the Black Hills Pioneer that 820 valid signatures were required and verified. The special election is scheduled Aug. 30.

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