Our View: Businesses must strive to be good neighbors

When industry and residents become neighbors, cooperation is key to keeping both parties happy and prosperous.

As much as we like to see business and industry growth, there is a certain burden on industries to ensure they are not depleting the quality of life in their neighborhoods. Even if the closest neighbors aren’t right next door, the activity of businesses impacts residents and the environment, which is why industry owners and managers must work closely with residents when making decisions that may affect them heavily.

When it comes to a proposed mine in southwest Clark County, residents are right to be concerned.

According to a notice published in this newspaper July 17, The Allen Company is seeking a permit for an underground, non-coal mine within 100 feet of the road. The permit would allow the company to build a quarry along 131 acres on Athens Boonesboro Road.

As they have been since 2013, the Southwest Clark County Neighborhood Association is adamantly fighting against the permit, arguing it would “permanently disfigure our community’s landscape and quality of life forever.”

There is a 15-day period for public comment from the date of the notice, and the association is hosting a public forum at 6 p.m. Thursday at the First Settlers House, 8312 Boonesboro Road, to discuss what measures can be taken to stop approval of the application.

Mining and quarry activities can have many environmental effects from blasting, excavating, crushing, storing and transporting the material. Some potential impacts include the disturbance of land and vegetation, dust, vibration, noise and increased traffic. There is the potential of contamination of groundwater and air quality.

Of course, such a major operation would forever change the aesthetic of a beautiful part of our community, one that is rich with history and residents who are active in preserving it.

It would be wrong to ignore the potential positive impacts the operation would have for a company that has done business in Clark County for many years.

The Allen Company officials must work more closely with residents to understand their concerns and the possible negative impacts of their proposed mining operation.

Surely, the quarry would add employment opportunities and increased tax revenue from the company.

But the community must consider if those outweigh the potential impacts to the environment and neighboring residents who have been persistent in efforts to preserve their neck of the woods.