Cooperstown Quarry: A good
decision for our local economy
To the Editor:
Tuolumne County Supervisors and Staff made the correct decision to support the Cooperstown Quarry for aggregate processing, railroad shipping and phased reclamation. This Quarry has the support of a diverse group of Tuolumne County businesses based on the following: Provides 45 permanent jobs; Provides a local source of high quality materials; Materials transported on the existing rail system is efficient with less impact on roads/environment (one rail car = four trucks); Located in rural area, predominately used for grazing, with little impact on existing residential; Mine operator and Sierra Railroad are part of a "working group" with Oakdale and Riverbank to minimize traffic and railroad conflicts; In depth permit and environmental process started August 2008.
After detailed analysis, review and input by all required government agencies and CDD, more than 100 project conditions reduce impacts to less than significant. Grazing can and will continue on the agricultural property as the mine is reclaimed in phases. County staff was very diligent, spending over 450 hours studying the required project information. The Board of Supervisors did their homework to thoroughly understand the issues, even delaying their final decision for two weeks to review all last minute comments from Stanislaus County, Riverbank and Oakdale. Access to local sources of high quality resources is important because transportation is a very large cost. Job creation is also very important to our local economy and California, which has lost approximately 1.2 million jobs over the last three years.
We agree with our supervisors unanimous vote and the Union Democrat’s opinion that "this is a project in the right place at the right time."
Slocum is president of the Tuolumne County Business Council.
Kopf is executive director of the Tuolumne County Business Council.