Massive quarry, underground limestone...

Massive quarry, underground limestone mine planned in Robbins

There are 85 comments on the The Southtown Star story from Oct 11, 2013, titled Massive quarry, underground limestone mine planned in Robbins. In it, The Southtown Star reports that:

A west-suburban developer is looking to acquire massive swaths of land in Robbins and turn it into an industrial megaplex complete with a quarry, an underground mine, asphalt and concrete factories, and a therapy horse ranch, according to an agreement village officials quietly approved earlier this year.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Southtown Star.

6 Million

Maywood, IL

#63 Oct 23, 2013
Hand in Hand wrote:
This is how the South Suburban Mayors Managers work.....side by side with the State Reps against the residents and taxpayers.
As one community falls the rest will follow Blue Island, Cal Park, Harvey, Markham, Posen, Riverdale.....and so on and so on.
About 6 million dollars has already been moved around by this group looking to move the Village of Robbins quarry forward.
Polly Titian

Morris, IL

#64 Oct 23, 2013
Other communities are reaching out to try to get this development in their town now that Robbins is pulling the plug.
It may be gone before they know it so they can get back to being lazy in the ghetto of Robbins.
I'd be willing to bet that the residents raising hell don't even go to city meetings
Pull the Plug

Maywood, IL

#65 Oct 24, 2013
This was a BAD DEAL FROM THE BEGINNING!
Projects of this type should not be in, near, or around residential areas.

THIS PARTICULAR PET PROJECT STINKS!
Bob Rita Balked

Blue Island, IL

#66 Oct 28, 2013
Sheriff launches probe of limestone quarry project in Robbins: Kadner
By PHIL KADNER
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s inspector general has launched an investigation into a planned development in Robbins to construct a limestone quarry that would take 20 to 30 percent of the suburb’s land through eminent domain.
Cara Smith, chief of policy and communications for Dart, said the sheriff’s department became concerned after reading stories about the development scheme in the SouthtownStar and received a complaint about the plan from a resident.
“We have initiated an investigation into the Robbins mine initiative to ensure the residents’ rights are protected and to ensure there is absolute transparency associated with every aspect of the project,” Smith stated in an email.“Of particular concern is an alleged donation by ALM Resources to a Robbins trustee.”
SouthtownStar staff writer Casey Toner revealed that ALM Resources, the project developer, donated $2,000 to the campaign of Robbins Trustee Shantiel Simon in March.
Earlier this month, the SouthtownStar revealed that Robbins had approached state legislators about introducing a bill in the fall veto session to allow quick-take authority to acquire homes and businesses for the planned development.
Robbins has entered into a public-private partnership agreement with Riverside-based ALM Resources to create a limestone quarry on 60 acres, followed by a 169-acre underground mine, asphalt and concrete plants and a therapy horse ranch. A waste-to-energy incinerator constructed in Robbins more than a decade ago would be part of the development.
Robbins would receive 5 percent of the sales from all the limestone mined, according to ALM, but in exchange one of the poorest municipalities in Illinois would turn over control of 320 acres to a private-public partnership called Robbins Resources LLC.
Hundreds of Robbins residents turned out for a community meeting last week, and many demanded that the village reconsider the deal. Many residents and public officials have said they were unaware of the extent of the project before newspaper stories appeared.
Bob Rita Balked

Blue Island, IL

#67 Oct 28, 2013
U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-1st), whose district includes Robbins, held a news conference at the home of a resident to oppose the plan. Rush called the pact with the developers a “dirty, dirty rotten deal.”

State Rep. Robert Rita (D-Blue Island) balked at introducing the quick-take bill after attending last week’s meeting, explaining that he wanted more details about the development.

Jim Louthen, ALM’s managing partner, has said the project, which could launch the quarry operation in 2014, would eventually raise more than $140 million in revenue from the sale of limestone and from sales and property taxes for Robbins.

At a public meeting last week, Louthen introduced a new partner in the project, Stephen Davis, president of Rib Mountain Aggregate, which would do the actual mining of the limestone.

Robbins residents raised concerns about the quick-take process and getting fair value for their homes, relocation assistance and payment for the mineral rights beneath their homes. But several said they didn’t want to move under any conditions and asked if the village and developers could force them out.

The short answer to that question was “yes.”

One woman said she feared that dust from the quarry operation and resulting truck traffic would cause respiratory problems in her children. A spokesman for the developer said federal and state agencies would regulate all environmental aspects of the quarry and mining operations.

ALM representatives said they would be meeting each Wednesday with residents at a community center to answer questions about the sale of the homes and the impact of the development on Robbins.

But the developers were less than forthcoming with SouthtownStar reporters during a meeting last week to discuss the plan.

When sheriff’s department officials called to request documents about the development, they were told to file a request under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act and talk to the village attorney, according to the department.

Dart created an office of inspector general in the sheriff’s department this year to assist suburban communities in investigating charges of corruption or mismanagement.

Dolton was the first to request the sheriff’s assistance after the administration of a newly elected mayor expressed fears that tax money had been misspent or stolen. Richton Park and Country Club Hills have since passed resolutions naming the sheriff’s office as the inspector general for their towns.

The sheriff’s department has been assisting Robbins police since January when about 200 untested rape kits, many from cases more than 20 years old, were found in the police evidence room.

In February, sheriff’s police also have been patrolling the streets of Robbins, assisting a police department that has a history of being short-staffed and has been accused of incompetence and indifference to crime. The mayor has refused to confirm it, but the police force consists mostly of part-time officers paid about $10 an hour, according to several sources.

As of 2010, the population of Robbins was 5,337, the median family household income was $24,145 and the per capita income was $9,837, according to U.S. Census data.

Much of the land in Robbins is vacant, and abandoned homes and businesses have become an economic drag for the suburb. For decades, it has attempted to attract economic development without much success.

The $383 million Robbins incinerator, originally designed to burn garbage from municipalities throughout the U.S., created a firestorm of political and environmental opposition, tax subsidies were withdrawn and it never became the economic engine that was envisioned.

Is the village government now capable of representing the interests of residents in a massive limestone quarry/mine project?

There isn’t a lot of confidence on the streets of Robbins.
BIG THANKS TOM

Maywood, IL

#69 Oct 28, 2013
Bob Rita Balked wrote:
Sheriff launches probe of limestone quarry project in Robbins: Kadner
By PHIL KADNER
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s inspector general has launched an investigation into a planned development in Robbins to construct a limestone quarry that would take 20 to 30 percent of the suburb’s land through eminent domain.
Cara Smith, chief of policy and communications for Dart, said the sheriff’s department became concerned after reading stories about the development scheme in the SouthtownStar and received a complaint about the plan from a resident.
“We have initiated an investigation into the Robbins mine initiative to ensure the residents’ rights are protected and to ensure there is absolute transparency associated with every aspect of the project,” Smith stated in an email.“Of particular concern is an alleged donation by ALM Resources to a Robbins trustee.”
SouthtownStar staff writer Casey Toner revealed that ALM Resources, the project developer, donated $2,000 to the campaign of Robbins Trustee Shantiel Simon in March.
Earlier this month, the SouthtownStar revealed that Robbins had approached state legislators about introducing a bill in the fall veto session to allow quick-take authority to acquire homes and businesses for the planned development.
Robbins has entered into a public-private partnership agreement with Riverside-based ALM Resources to create a limestone quarry on 60 acres, followed by a 169-acre underground mine, asphalt and concrete plants and a therapy horse ranch. A waste-to-energy incinerator constructed in Robbins more than a decade ago would be part of the development.
Robbins would receive 5 percent of the sales from all the limestone mined, according to ALM, but in exchange one of the poorest municipalities in Illinois would turn over control of 320 acres to a private-public partnership called Robbins Resources LLC.
Hundreds of Robbins residents turned out for a community meeting last week, and many demanded that the village reconsider the deal. Many residents and public officials have said they were unaware of the extent of the project before newspaper stories appeared.
Thanks Tom Dart! This smelly project needs to be investigated from top to bottom.
Honestly Tom WE DO TOO

Maywood, IL

#70 Oct 28, 2013
Dolton was the first to request the sheriff’s assistance after the administration of a newly elected mayor expressed fears that tax money had been misspent or stolen. Richton Park and Country Club Hills have since passed resolutions naming the sheriff’s office as the inspector general for their towns.

Blue Island NEEDS an INSPECTOR GENERAL, too!
Probe

Maywood, IL

#71 Oct 29, 2013
Honestly Tom WE DO TOO wrote:
Dolton was the first to request the sheriff’s assistance after the administration of a newly elected mayor expressed fears that tax money had been misspent or stolen. Richton Park and Country Club Hills have since passed resolutions naming the sheriff’s office as the inspector general for their towns.
Blue Island NEEDS an INSPECTOR GENERAL, too!
Blue Island's Financial Records and Political Appointments deserve and need to be Investigated!
Rita is for sale

Blue Island, IL

#72 Oct 30, 2013
Robbins residents discuss legal options against project



A lawyer associated with U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-1st) met with Robbins residents Tuesday night to answer legal questions and offer possible strategy concerning a controversial and massive project that would include a limestone quarry and mine in the small town.

“You gotta get to the trustees,” attorney Timothy Wright III, Rush’s former chief of staff, told the residents.“You gotta get them to slow this project down.”

The meeting was held as questions continue to swirl around the proposed development, which also would include ready-mix and asphalt plants and require seizing about 50 homes through the village’s power of eminent domain. About 100 people attended the meeting at Greater Unity Christian Baptist Church.

Under growing pressure from concerned homeowners, the village board voted last week to not pursue a bill in the fall veto session of the General Assembly that would enable the village to quickly acquire land needed for the project.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart also announced Monday that he was investigating the project to make sure that residents’ rights were protected and the process was transparent.

Rush, whose congressional district includes Robbins, spoke out about the project after the SouthtownStar reported this month that the village board had agreed in May to allow Riverside-based ALM Resources to develop about 20 percent of Robbins for the industrial complex that would include a 61-acre quarry and a 169-acre mine.

Rush’s spokeswoman said Wright was offering free legal advice to residents temporarily while Rush looks for an attorney to represent the residents’ interests going forward.

Wright told the crowd that the proposed development has become a “political issue” and now was drawing the attention of public officials such as Rush and Dart. He joked that village trustees might end up being the “ones that have to find lawyers.”

Wright answered questions about the validity of the development plan, which was signed by longtime Mayor Irene Brodie in one of her final acts before she left office in May. Many residents questioned whether Brodie was suffering from dementia during her final year or so in office.

“If the mayor wasn’t competent to sign this, you don’t have a valid contract,” Wright said.“Game over.”

Addressing a key aspect of the development plan, Wright said the “quick-take” process to acquire land, including homes, would allow the village to seize property immediately and have hearings on the issue of fair compensation afterward.

ALM Resources wanted to acquire the land through Robbins’ power of eminent domain, which allows it to take private property for the public good. The quick-take process requires legislative approval, and many residents feared that such a bill could pass in the current legislative session.

State Sen. Emil Jones III (D-Chicago) has joined state Rep. Robert Rita (D-Blue Island) in opposition to passing such a bill this fall, issuing a statement Monday that he didn’t support any measure that “forces the people of Robbins from their homes.”

“ALM stands to make billions from this project and only wants to give residents a fraction of their homes’ value,” Jones said.“The people of Robbins deserve a more transparent process that allows them to decide rather than a bureaucratic injunction.”

Throughout Tuesday night’s meeting, residents expressed anger and frustration that the project had advanced so far without their knowledge.

DeLean Fuller said the community needs to focus on pressuring local officials, finding an attorney and invalidating the village’s contract with ALM. She told residents to draw their own maps of Robbins to imagine what they want the village to be.

“We know the beginning, we’re struggling through the middle, so let’s visualize what we want that end to be so it will help us get through this,” Fuller said.
Roommates or Cellmates

Maywood, IL

#73 Oct 30, 2013
There are Robbins officials who could easily share living space with Crestwood officials.
A Government Ran Amok

Blue Island, IL

#74 Nov 22, 2013


Digging up Robbins
Sheriff's office wants to slow a fast-tracked project


November 22, 2013

The south suburb of Robbins usually makes headlines for one of two reasons: Either there's a connection to hometown basketball star Dwyane Wade or some new calamity has hit the village. Sometimes they connect: Wade, who plays for the Miami Heat, once rescued the financially stressed local library with a $25,000 check to keep the lights on.

Robbins' biggest employer was once a garbage incinerator, but it shut its doors in 2000. An energy plant was promised but never arrived. The Cook County Sheriff's Office is considering whether to take over the overwhelmed Robbins Police Department.

And now this: The village has cut a deal with developers to bulldoze about 100 homes and open a limestone quarry and underground mine.

As a bonus, the developers promise to build a horse ranch. Oooh, how pretty! Sounds like a great deal, right? Where do we sign?

The deal was approved in May by then-Mayor Irene Brodie and the six-member Village Board. Outraged residents are begging to have the agreement stalled or rescinded. Brodie has retired, but the new mayor and the Village Board support the proposal. There are, though, many questions about it.

Here's the proposal (slip on your rose-colored glasses for full effect): A company called ALM Resources LLC wants to dig a quarry in Robbins, which is believed to be sitting atop a sizable limestone deposit. The company also wants to build processing, asphalt and concrete facilities on-site, taking up more land than 60 football fields.

Riverside-based ALM Resources wants to build an industrial site that would include a trucking terminal, housing and, yes, a therapeutic horse farm.

The final phase of the project would include a massive 169-acre underground mine.

The project has been moving swiftly, though local state legislators backed off of plans to move a bill in Springfield that would permit quick-take of the homes. Appraisers continue to send letters to residents to try to buy them out.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart is trying to intervene. The sheriff's office sent a letter Nov. 5 to Robbins Mayor Tyrone Ward, calling on the village to halt efforts to acquire property for the project. The contract appears to have several provisions that are tilted in favor of the developer. The sheriff's inspector general is investigating.

"If a local government is not following the best interests of the residents, then who is supposed to protect them?" said Cara Smith, Dart's chief of policy and communication.

To be sure, Robbins needs an economic base. The median family income in 2010 was $27,602. The average home value was $77,600. The village of 5,337 residents is largely a pass-through community between Midlothian, Alsip, Blue Island and Posen.

But this project would have an enormous adverse impact on the residents who would lose their homes ... and on the residents who would live within spitting distance of it.

A project of this magnitude in Robbins that would impact thousands of Southland residents is not a candidate for a rush order. This proposal requires careful scrutiny. So far, it has had neither.

Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC
Stop Corruption

Maywood, IL

#75 Nov 22, 2013
A Government Ran Amok wrote:
Digging up Robbins
Sheriff's office wants to slow a fast-tracked project
November 22, 2013
The south suburb of Robbins usually makes headlines for one of two reasons: Either there's a connection to hometown basketball star Dwyane Wade or some new calamity has hit the village. Sometimes they connect: Wade, who plays for the Miami Heat, once rescued the financially stressed local library with a $25,000 check to keep the lights on.
Robbins' biggest employer was once a garbage incinerator, but it shut its doors in 2000. An energy plant was promised but never arrived. The Cook County Sheriff's Office is considering whether to take over the overwhelmed Robbins Police Department.
And now this: The village has cut a deal with developers to bulldoze about 100 homes and open a limestone quarry and underground mine.
As a bonus, the developers promise to build a horse ranch. Oooh, how pretty! Sounds like a great deal, right? Where do we sign?
The deal was approved in May by then-Mayor Irene Brodie and the six-member Village Board. Outraged residents are begging to have the agreement stalled or rescinded. Brodie has retired, but the new mayor and the Village Board support the proposal. There are, though, many questions about it.
Here's the proposal (slip on your rose-colored glasses for full effect): A company called ALM Resources LLC wants to dig a quarry in Robbins, which is believed to be sitting atop a sizable limestone deposit. The company also wants to build processing, asphalt and concrete facilities on-site, taking up more land than 60 football fields.
Riverside-based ALM Resources wants to build an industrial site that would include a trucking terminal, housing and, yes, a therapeutic horse farm.
The final phase of the project would include a massive 169-acre underground mine.
The project has been moving swiftly, though local state legislators backed off of plans to move a bill in Springfield that would permit quick-take of the homes. Appraisers continue to send letters to residents to try to buy them out.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart is trying to intervene. The sheriff's office sent a letter Nov. 5 to Robbins Mayor Tyrone Ward, calling on the village to halt efforts to acquire property for the project. The contract appears to have several provisions that are tilted in favor of the developer. The sheriff's inspector general is investigating.
"If a local government is not following the best interests of the residents, then who is supposed to protect them?" said Cara Smith, Dart's chief of policy and communication.
To be sure, Robbins needs an economic base. The median family income in 2010 was $27,602. The average home value was $77,600. The village of 5,337 residents is largely a pass-through community between Midlothian, Alsip, Blue Island and Posen.
But this project would have an enormous adverse impact on the residents who would lose their homes ... and on the residents who would live within spitting distance of it.
A project of this magnitude in Robbins that would impact thousands of Southland residents is not a candidate for a rush order. This proposal requires careful scrutiny. So far, it has had neither.
Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC
Stand up Change is coming.
Class Action Lawsuit

Maywood, IL

#76 Dec 31, 2013
The quarry poses a sustainable danger to the environment, public health and welfare. The quarry will also cause air pollution, creating a water pollution hazard and release hazardous substances into the environment of many surrounding communities.
Sam Esh

Orlando, FL

#77 Jan 17, 2014
Great! That would bring a lot of jobs. I know a lot of people would be thankful for that. http://www.ourchildrenshomestead.org/index.ph...
Negatively Impacted

Maywood, IL

#78 Jan 19, 2014
Class Action Lawsuit wrote:
The quarry poses a sustainable danger to the environment, public health and welfare. The quarry will also cause air pollution, creating a water pollution hazard and release hazardous substances into the environment of many surrounding communities.
Cities Impacted: Robbins, IL, Merrionette Park, IL, Dixmoor, IL, Posen, IL, Riverdale, IL,
Alsip, IL, Midlothian, IL, Calumet Park, Il, Blue Island, Il.
No Dig

Maywood, IL

#79 Jun 25, 2014
http://my.chicagotribune.com/#section/-1/arti...

Robbins residents dig in against proposed quarry

It was a grand plan for tiny Robbins: a massive quarry and mining operation, a therapeutic horse farm and parks, development along the channel, maybe even a chain drugstore and new housing.

The project, as laid out in three phases, would consume about a third of the town and require the acquisition of 52 occupied homes and about 100 other properties, radically changing the historic village of about 5,000 residents that has struggled with a weak tax base, lack of jobs and other social ills.

But three years after the proposal was brought to the village, a spirited revolt developed among Robbins residents that led to an investigation by the Cook County sheriff's inspector general, both of which stalled the plan.

At a meeting Tuesday night, the Village Board voted 5-1 to void a redevelopment agreement that Robbins officials had signed in May 2013 promising to help the developer acquire the needed land. The village last year also had approved ordinances that allowed for eminent domain and so-called quick-take legislation to expedite the acquisition of land.
Boob Rita

Blue Island, IL

#80 Jun 25, 2014
I knew nothing of this.
Really

Blue Island, IL

#81 Jun 26, 2014
Boob Rita wrote:
I knew nothing of this.
He no longer needs this project. Instead, he is doing the happy dance in Blue Island. Lots of pickings there!
Its election time

Blue Island, IL

#82 Nov 12, 2014
Trustees Voted 3 to 2

Maywood, IL

#83 Nov 12, 2014
Robbins trustees vote to end talks on quarry
  
By Tara Kadioglu Special to the Tribune November 11, 2014 10:34PM

Updated: November 12, 2014 2:11AM 

Robbins trustees voted 3 to 2 Tuesday night against a nonbinding agreement that would allow the village board to continue discussions with a developer that has proposed a massive limestone quarry and mine in the small village.

Trustees said the “memorandum of understanding” between the village and Riverside-based ALM Resources would enable village leaders to continue contract negotiations regarding the controversial project that could result in acquiring more than a quarter of the town’s land and razing about 50 houses.

Tuesday’s vote likely does not have much significance because a trustee who supports the project was absent — meaning another 3-3 vote is probable if the issue resurfaces at the next village board meeting.

Mayor Tyrone Ward said he did not know whether the memorandum would be up for a vote again.

“Now that it’s been disapproved, I’ll have to check with (legal) counsel on that,” he said.

Village attorney Christopher Welch was not at Tuesday night’s meeting. He did not answer previous phone messages left with his office or an email last week.

Many residents and some trustees, including trustees James Coffey and Linnie Johnson, did not consider Tuesday’s vote to be a final decision on anything, saying they expected the agreement to come up again at the next board meeting, as it has come up at least a couple of times previously.

Many residents have opposed the quarry and mine, which was approved by a prior village board without public hearings or much public notice. The Cook County sheriff’s department spent months investigating the contract and its expected impact on Robbins, issuing a report this year that said the pact disproportionately favored ALM Resources.

Residents have questioned why village officials have refused to make public the memorandum of understanding so they can see exactly what it contains.

Paul Stewart, ALM’s vice president of development, said ALM would support sharing the memorandum with residents, and Johnson and Coffey agreed. But Coffey said Welch had asked village officials to hold off on sharing the memorandum for now.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Dixmoor Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Let's buy Domingo some pot 2 hr Thats It Thats All 14
Lake Shore Waste starts next week 7 hr Change is Needed 100
Real estate Tax Bill (Jun '12) 7 hr They Must Go 17
Are we trying to hide a shady past Arty? 10 hr Obumer 28
Matthew J. O'Callaghan 12 hr Chris 3
Blue Island Red Light Cameras Illegal (Apr '12) 12 hr get with it 185
Facebook Crusaders (Jan '15) 14 hr White 110

Dixmoor Jobs

More from around the web

Personal Finance

Dixmoor Mortgages