Letters to the editor for January 7, 2013

By Union Democrat staff January 07, 2013 12:56 pm

Bring back CUP

To the Editor: 

It appears the City of Sonora, through its “Vision Sonora” program, may be getting serious once again about making Sonora a tourist attraction. To do this, one step can make it all much closer to a reality.

I am inviting the Sonora City Council and manager to join with me and others in requesting that we reopen the Conditions of Use Permit (02CUP-56) between the people and Portola Mineral Company (Blue Mountain Minerals). This can be done as per the CUP, so there should be no hassles.

The noise pollution caused by these trucks prohibits normal conversation — major league turnoff to visitors. Noise, air, and visual pollution are only a comparatively small concern. The major concern is with lives.

Remember awhile back a driver of one of these 80,000-pound rigs suffered a fatal heart attack? Fortunately, he was on the “preferred truck routing” and not downtown. Accidents happen, and therefore all precautions to protect life must be thethere number one concern of our elected officials.

In the current CUP  are fees established to compensate for the destruction to our roads. There is also a “preferred route” that bypasses Old Town Sonora. Neither is mandatory — so we have de minimis revenues coming in from BMM to help repair the damage they do to our roads and we have no assurances that people will not die in Old Town Sonora should a truck go out of control and roll across a sidewalk into a crowded store(s).

Preferred routes should be made mandatory and a flat fee, beginning at “ton one,” should be 7 cents a ton. No more corporate subsidies from hard working taxpayers and no more crony deals cut by elected officials. Also, we must demand transparency and an end to the deception and giveaways.

Domenic Torchia

Columbia