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      Controversy over Valley View Quarry

      The Valley View Quarry in Portage Township was criticized by community members at a public hearing held on Tuesday.

      Residents wanted to know what's going on at the site, which is run by Moyle Sand and Gravel, and whether or not it's legal. According to Moyle representative Kevin Geshel, the operation at the quarry consists of rocks being broken down into smaller rocks, which are then used to make concrete.

      "We've been operating at this site for 18 years in some capacity. The work that we're doing is legal," said Geshel.

      Some residents say they TMre concerned about loud blasts and the possible pollution of the Pilgrim River watershed. Geshel says that blasts only happen twice a year at the site and that nothing is being polluted.

      "We've practiced the controls and regulations that are set upon us and we go above and beyond that. We meet or exceed our expectations because we live here, too, and we like the environment," Geshel added.

      Members of the Portage Township Board of Trustees plan to investigate the situation to see if the site is in compliance with the area, which is zoned rural-residential.

      "We need gravel, everybody needs gravel for homes and roads, but we also want to have a nice community to live in, so we have to strike a balance between that," said Trustee Mark Jalkanen.

      Moyle said they welcome residents to visit the site and that they hope to work out a solution acceptable to everybody.

      "We're working with the Board of Trustees from Portage Township to try to minimize any activities or work on regulations to make sure what we're doing is in the spirit of cooperation with the local community," said Moyle.

      A committee will meet next week to discuss the quarry and schedule future meetings with Moyle.