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County in Minnesota to Open Quarry

Koochiching County, Minn., will move forward with creation of a quarry near Birchdale, Minn., despite objections voiced by a representative of a local quarry and construction company, according to the International Falls Journal.

The board purchased the “county-managed, tax-forfeited land” for the quarry at the county-appraised value of $144,000 for 20 acres. The board will reportedly seek bids for the blasting and crushing part of the operation. County staff said there is no intention of selling material for other projects. A conditional-use permit was already approved by the board.

Debbie Bowman of Bowman Construction reiterated concerns voiced earlier about the project by Carl Bowman, who operates gravel pits and a construction company in the county. She noted the county would be competing against local taxpayers who operate quarries and could provide the same material for county projects.

In February, County Engineer Doug Grindall estimated that blasting and crushing would be conducted at the Birchdale site for two months in the first stage of the project, with the gravel pit operating for 20 years or more.