Croell Redi-Mix reapplies to expand mining operation
Organized citizen opposition, packed hearing rooms brimming with emotion and two trips to the state Supreme Court haven't dimmed an Iowa company's appetite to expand its gravel mine South of Rapid City.
In 2015 Croell Redi Mix bought the Perli Pit aggregate quarry near Bear Country, USA, along Highway 16 South of Rapid City. In 2016 the Pennington County Planning Board OK'd Croell's application to expand.
Neighbors appealed the decision to the Pennington County Commission which reversed the planners. Croell sued and lost in the state Supreme Court. Then -- following lengthy public hearings -- the county commission rewrote its mining laws that appeared to open the door for Croell to expand. That ordinance was struck down in Pennington County court and is on appeal to the Supreme Court. But Croell has again applied for permits to expand. This time some of the enormous application was filed in duplicate so as to comply with the old law or the new law -- if it survives review in the high court.
A series of hearings is on tap starting next month that promises to be as well attended as those before it as the citizens group that fought for two years against the mine vow to keep up the fight.
The Pennington County Planning Commission has scheduled an all day hearing on Croell's applications for Nov. 14 at 9 a.m. in the Pennington County Commission meeting room.