Trusted local news leader for Williams AZ and the Grand Canyon
Sat, Dec. 07

Letter: Mining companies exempt from building codes, causing concern for Ask Fork resident

(Submitted photo)

(Submitted photo)

Imagine, buying land in a rural area to escape the confines of the big city. A large enough parcel to escape from neighbors, a 40-acre piece of land where you believe it would be quiet and peaceful.

You build a home — fighting with the county over permits and what is allowed and after all that, you end up with your dream home. It reminds me of a Bugs Bunny cartoon where he is living in his rabbit home then suddenly it starts to shake. He looks outside and sees a big construction project surrounding him.

Bugs Bunny eventually fought and won against the developer and they had to make concessions for his hole. But this isn’t a cartoon, its real life and as it seems, no one really cares how things affect the individual.

There is a quaint little area just outside Ash Fork, Arizona, nestled just west of the tiny town with Juniper trees and fresh air. South of Interstate 40, off Crookton Road recognized as Historic Route 66, there is a dirt road called Tanner.

Several months ago, wise officials at Yavapai County repaved the access road that runs parallel to I-40. The residents believed (that it was) finally a nice gesture from our elected officials who have seemed to forget this tiny spot in the county. Little did anyone know, it wasn’t for the residents, it was for a larger project which would destroy the quaintness and quiet of this pristine countryside.

Residents soon learned a mining operation had begun with equipment, people, noise, traffic and dust. It seems this mining operation is to extract rock for an Arizona Department of Transportation project taking place west, near Seligman. The mine is being operated on a parcel of land which is right on the property line for a person who was attempting to sell their house.

The mine itself runs well into the night, creating traffic which includes tractor trailers hauling out the rock. Dust covers everything nearby including the person’s home and property who is trying to sell it.

It seems, at times, that the dust from the mine can be viewed from up to five miles away. The tax money spent to repave the access road appears to be the county appeasing the mining company to allow the volume of trucks coming and going. Another thing, the generators running all night – to light up the equipment, is loud and bright.

When this was brought up to Supervisor Craig Brown in a community meeting, his response was (that) it was a mining operation, which is regulated by the state.

In other conversations at the meeting, we discussed what an individual is allowed to do on and with their property. Craig Brown also mentioned there were folks exempt from the building codes, one of which is mining; the others are agriculture and medical.

So, if you have an exempted business, you can create a disastrous environment for average folks who just want to live peacefully.

I invite everyone to see for themselves the impact this mining project has on those who live around it. See firsthand the destruction of the land and the refusal to address this issue by elected officials.

I should also point out, when the mine is done, I was told sometime in April, that the scars will remain. The hole where the rock was taken and the roads that will need repair and again, taxpayers will foot the bill once more for a private entity’s impact on everyone.

Robert "Curly" Flanagan,

Ash Fork resident

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