Penny for their thoughts

By |  May 14, 2014

An Indiana newspaper reports that Rogers Group has temporarily withdrawn its bid to operate a quarry near Lafayette, as the company attempts to address the community’s concerns. The story here is an all-too-common one: Rogers Group faces reluctance on the part of citizens to see an aggregates operation in their neighborhood.

That is why I read with interest the results of a survey from the Professional Skills Development Institute. The study, The Social and Economic Impacts of Operating Quarries/Pits in Southern Ontario, set out to:
• Gain an understanding of what it is like, from the residents’ perspective, to live near an active quarry/pit.
• Determine if and how an operating quarry/pit may affect residents’ way of life and their community.
• Gain an understanding of how local residents and aggregate producers resolve issues and concerns.

The group surveyed residents living within 1,000 meters (just over half a mile) of 10 active operations in Canada – including operations owned by Lafarge, Dufferin Aggregates, Walker Aggregates and others. About 370 surveys were completed, and the results should be interesting to any aggregates producer.

Survey says

Of those respondents who said there are no benefits of living near a quarry, their biggest complaints were:
• Dust
• Noise
• Truck traffic
• Damage to home from blasting
• Affects on property value

Respondents were asked if they have any concerns about the quarry/pit: 78 percent said they do and 20 percent said they do not. And when asked whether their concerns are significant enough that they might consider moving: 54 percent said yes or don’t know, while 46 percent said no.

Perhaps most striking was that 41 percent said the aggregates operation never communicates with residents in the community. That is an alarmingly high number, especially when we all know that good community relations is a key to good business practice in this industry.

The full report is available for purchase ($50.00 plus $15.00 shipping) at www.psdinst.com.

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