Even if we who oppose Daryl Schafer’s position on mining through two township roads are in the minority, he has a duty to anwer our concerns and to protect our rights, including freedom of dissenting speech.
Lost in Schafer’s diatribe against the citizens of Haines Township is this: Granting Con-Stone permission to mine through two township roads will have devastating consequences to Aaronsburg. An estimated 1,841,000 tons of Valentine limestone will be excavated from under these roads and their setbacks. This will require an estimated 95 blasts and impose on the residents all the risks inherent thereto — property damage and depreciation, air and noise pollution, and the potential for radon increases. Mining will continue close to the village for more than 10 years.
Every reason stated by the township supervisors for excavating the roads is contrived, unsupported or ridiculous: irremediable thermal cracking, lack of guardrails, dangerous curves and sight obstruction.
Let’s be honest. The supervisors just gave Con-Stone what it wanted — perhaps because Jeff Confer, mine supervisor, threatened in a public meeting to sue the township if he didn’t get permission to mine through the roads. Why didn’t the supervisors stand up to this bullying?
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We who oppose the expansion of the mine through our township roads and farmland are doing the job our elected officials were sworn to do — to protect our health and welfare —and this is a very important part of managing the township.