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      Gravel pit gets approved near Big Bay

      After initially being denied, the Powell Township Planning Commission narrowly approved a permit for a gravel pit near Big Bay. Thursday, the Planning Commission passed the permit with a 4 to 3 vote. The proposed gravel pit would be located on County Road KR also known as Brown Deer Road.

      Residents on Brown Deer Road have expressed their concerns with the project including noise, safety and the narrowness of the road. The commission included a number of conditions in the permit including restrictions on hours of operation and dust control measures.

      "On the one hand, it is somewhat of a compromise in the sense that it's not just an application that's granted, but on the other hand, the planning commission would also have been remiss if it did not attach at least some conditions to help protect the best interests of the residents as best as they're able," said Roger Zappa, Legal Council for Powell Township.

      The permit applicant, Lindberg and Sons, also has to widen Brown Deer Road at no cost to Powell Township as part of the project. Gravel extracted from the pit will be used for improvements to County Road 550 as well as logging projects in the area.