Judge rules in favor of Saxony Lutheran in quarry dispute - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Judge rules in favor of Saxony Lutheran in quarry dispute

CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

A judge's ruling Wednesday is a legal victory for Saxony Lutheran High School in its effort to keep a quarry from locating too close to its Cape Girardeau County property. 

Circuit Judge William Syler ruled Thursday in favor of Saxony, finding DNR's land reclamation commission had no authority when it approved a mining application by Strack Excavating.

[ READ THE JUDGEMENT AND ORDER (PDF) ]

With the added condition that Strack move its boundary line from 55 feet to 1000 feet away from Saxony property. 

"We are pleased with the ruling," said James Maevers, chair of the Saxony board of regents. "Because, the court has recognized the significance of our concerns, regarding having a limestone quarry so close to our school." Maevers added, "This has been a long battle. Our goal has always been to get the best possible outcome for our students and we have. For that we are grateful." 

Judge Syler's ruling vacates Strack's permit, basically sending the company back to square one.

"In 2011, the Legislature concluded that quarries should not be located close to schools," said Steve Jeffery, an attorney with the Jeffery Law Group in Clayton, who represents Saxony. Jeffery added, "The Cole County Circuit Court and now the Cape Girardeau County Circuit Court have determined the process followed by the Land Reclamation Commission with respect to the two Fruitland quarries was flawed. Because the Court's Order finds that the actions of the Commission were unreasonable and not substantially justified, State law allows Saxony to now pursue a claim for its legal fees and costs against the State."

What's not clear is, will this mean work at the site will actually stop? 

Company owner J.W. Strack says he hasn't seen the ruling yet so he won't comment on it, but did say work at the site continues. 

No word yet on what the next step in this battle will be, but it's clearly not over yet.

Copyright 2012 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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