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Dust settles on quarry issue

The prospect of a quarry in the Gardner town limits has brought contentious discussions at times, but now a solution is in place. The town of Gardner and Scott and Robin Franda have reached a settlement agreement that will allow Scott Franda to run a limestone quarry on Stevenson Pier Road. The town issued a nonmetallic mining permit to Franda. The ordinance was recently constructed as a result of this issue that dates back to last year. 


To make it work, both the town and quarry had to make their fair share of compromises. One area that was key to the compromise was the agreement to blast no closer than 500 feet from the nearest neighbor. Other stipulations include no blasting or crushing on weekends and holidays as well as working only within permitted hours of operation. Franda is also required to place crushed asphalt on the roads to mitigate dust and hold a liability insurance policy. The Gardner Town Chair Carl Waterstreet points out that there may be misconceptions about the operation size, saying that it’s really a small operation. 



Waterstreet says that Franda could pass the mine to his children, but if he wanted to sell it to an outsider he would have to come before the town board. The prospective buyer or beneficiary would also have to go through the town’s permitting process. Waterstreet is relieved a compromise was found through mediation rather than litigation. 


A walk-thru open to the public was completed after the settlement was agreed upon. Franda explained before visitors the operation and where he’ll be blasting. Communications between the township and the quarry are not done, as Waterstreet hopes to maintain open communication and to diffuse potential issues before they start. At the least, Franda will check in with the board yearly. Waterstreet mentioned that they are looking at ways in the future to address town zoning issues. A copy of the non-metallic mining ordinance can be found here


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