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Vulcan Lamar quarry on the rocks?

Despite a contract to buy water exclusively from the Lamar County Water & Sewer Authority, Vulcan Materials has not used any county water for the past several months at its northeast Lamar quarry site. Vulcan returned its meter in to the water authority in November and has used no water since, indicating a lack of construction activity at the site where no rock has yet been mined. David Grayson, a Vulcan VP and general manger of its Georgia operations, confirmed development of the local quarry has slowed. ’The economy has definitely changed our plans for a 2009 opening. We are hopeful that, as the economic recovery progresses, we will be in a position to open the quarry for business in 2010. There are several things we will continue to pursue at the site while we wait for market conditions to get better,’ Grayson said. Those include changes to the permitted road design, staging of equipment, various preliminary studies and continued discussions with the Northeast Lamar County Concerned Citizens group, Grayson added. Vulcan has recently purchased two tracts along Highway 36, the utilization of which will factor into its planning. Grayson said his firm remains committed to purchasing water from Lamar County. ‘The meter which was returned was a temporary one. Since our activities over the next few months will not require water, we returned it until such time as we need it again or until we can put in a permanent meter,’ Grayson said. Water authority general manager Amberly Ferris said the quarry had been using water for dust control, spending about $1200 per month – a big boost to the authority’s income. The quarry, originally sought by Florida Rock Industries, is located on a large tract of land near the intersection of Highway 36 East and Chappell Mill Road. The quarry generated huge controversy and multiple lawsuits before approval was won. Florida Rock sold out to Vulcan last year in a multi-million dollar deal. The demand for gravel has plummeted over the past year as the housing/construction industry tanked. While waiting for that demand to return, Grayson says Vulcan is committed to working with citizens in the area and will form the citizens advisory committee that is a requirement of its zoning.

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