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Rep. Rush Joins Robbins Residents In Opposing Proposed Quarry

By aaroncynic in News on Oct 22, 2013 7:00PM

2013_3_30_Rush.gif Residents of south suburban Robbins are up in arms over a proposed quarry complex which would displace more than 100 families. ABC7 reports Rep. Bobby Rush joined more than 100 residents Sunday on the steps of a home to protest the plan.

"This is nothing but a government-sanctioned land grab and we're not going to stand for it," said Rush.

According to the Sun-Times, the Village of Robbins entered into a deal with ALM Resources over the summer which would create a 61-acre surface quarry and 169-acre underground limestone mine. The village would be required to purchase 100 single family homes along with some businesses and the town's old incinerator. ALM Resources is pushing for a “quick-take” process, which works faster than eminent domain and allows residents to fight for better prices in court later.

Residents and Rush both said the village board, which is scheduled to vote on requesting the process tonight, worked out the deal quietly without giving residents much of an opportunity to voice their opposition. Charles White, a a lifelong resident of Robbins, told the Sun-Times “It took me by surprise because I didn’t find out about it until somebody came by and knocked on my door.”

Residents again voiced their concerns in a town hall meeting held last night. “The deal you have given us is not right, said Welton Jones, Sr. “This thing came about in a way that we were bamboozled.” Mayor Tyrone Ward tried to assuage the fears of residents, saying “You have to know that you are not getting shafted.” Proponents of the plan say the quarry would generate significant revenue for the struggling southern suburb. Stephen Davis, President of Rib Mountain Aggregate, the company ALM selected to operate the quarry, said the quarry and mine could generate $140 million for the village over the next 140 years. Darrell Mitchell, a business owner in the area said:

“We have to collectively work together to change and break this cycle. That means there will be collateral damage. That means people will be displaced. At the end of the day, we have to do something different.”

Still, the quick take process raises eyebrows. State Rep. Bob Rita said more details are needed, as well as the opinions of leadership in neighboring towns. “To do something of this magnitude, we need to get a lot of questions answered,” said Rita.