Quarry project in Slate Belt would br...

Quarry project in Slate Belt would break new ground

There are 23 comments on the The Morning Call story from Mar 1, 2009, titled Quarry project in Slate Belt would break new ground. In it, The Morning Call reports that:

Peter Iselo was having an ''I'm king of the world!'' moment. He stood at the edge of one of the tallest points in the Slate Belt, explaining how he wants to knock it down.

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snowman allentown PA

Nazareth, PA

#1 Mar 1, 2009
Years ago we had strip mining that was supposed to have been filled in by the coal companies in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties. BUT the state never enforced the laws and only charged the companies about $3500.00 per hole. That amount of money didn't even cover the paperwork, so I think we have the same problem here caused by a weak paid off commonwealth government and now we the taxpayer are paying again. Of course it is a good idea to get rid of these DANGEROUS eyesores, but it pisses me off that the original companies weren't forced to do it.
Reality

United States

#2 Mar 1, 2009
I can't imagine this actually happening. Not enough profit in filling in the quarry and then building something on the land. Why bother, when developers can just bully local governments into giving them land, or making struggling farmers offers they can't refuse?

Maybe in a few decades, when all the other land around New York City is already developed (i.e. the entire state of New Jersey), the Slate Belt quarry will be needed for more luxury condos. By that time everyone reading this will have long since been driven out of here by the wealthy urban crowd.

Unless our economy never rebounds, of course. See our options? If our economy rebounds, we will return to the city folk invasion, and they will eventually force us all out. Or, the economy doesn't improve any time soon, and we get to stay where we are. Hmm. Ponder that.
Hindsight

United States

#3 Mar 1, 2009
No way I'd buy or even rent in a building inherently subject to subsidence. Zero.
NORBERT

Bethlehem, PA

#4 Mar 1, 2009
So if somebody buys property and is aware of any potential problems in advance, the state will still help them? This is ridiculous and a scam.
nancy pelosi

Bethlehem, PA

#5 Mar 1, 2009
dumb.
ghosts

Stroudsburg, PA

#6 Mar 1, 2009
Take all the bodies out of cemetaries and dump them in quarries (burial at "sea") and build on the cemetaries.
PA friend

Gilbert, PA

#7 Mar 1, 2009
So if our tax dollars are going to "assist" these developers to create new land for them to build on, one can only expect that once they profit from the sale of the land, they will pay back us, the taxpayer, before they spend the millions of dollars they reap. If there wasn't profit in it, one of these guys I know wouldn't be involved.

I won't hold my breath in seeing a refund of our tax dollar.

The rich continue to get richer at the help of the American taxpayer.
Fisherman

Allentown, PA

#8 Mar 1, 2009
How are they going to compensate for the volume of slate that was mined and sold? If the stuff they're going to put back in is what they had to remove to get at the slate they wanted to sell, it seems like they will need more material than they have piled up on site to make up the difference.

Does anyone know how that will work?
Fisherman

Allentown, PA

#9 Mar 1, 2009
Never mind! I just figured it out. They'll fill it with taxpayer dollars. Duh!

Since: Mar 07

AOL

#10 Mar 1, 2009
I'd just like to know exactly what they plan to place on the land once these quarries are filled. I noticed they said industrial & commercial but I'm curious if they know yet exactly what companies will occupy the land. What about the local town(s) using the land for local use? A new library, teen center, etc etc???
NORBERT

Bethlehem, PA

#11 Mar 1, 2009
That is even more ridiculous than the taxpayer ripoff proposed.
kathy65

United States

#12 Mar 1, 2009
Okay...they already did fill a quarry on 512 in Bangor and put a storage business on top of it...

Joisy...this was in the paper months ago...Ron and his partner were going to be putting homes on that property at that point...
thelaw

Sparta, NJ

#13 Mar 1, 2009
I thought there is a law that disallows building on mined land.
Havent they thought of land subsidence.
Maybe they can offer the land cheap to the "allentown east enders"?
If they need additional fill, they could always turn to ny, nj trash mixed in with some coal region fly ash!
Works up here! Just been know to be the culprit for rare form of cancer. Other than that, it actually makes for good hole filler.
NotAMoveIn

Whitehall, PA

#14 Mar 1, 2009
This is a step for these two to put up houses on cheap land. Wake up people, what on earth do these two stand to gain by making this site "commercial and industrial"? They will flatten the ground, and sell quarter acre lots for 100,000...then we will have the same problems that we have in Easton, Wilson, and other boroughs. A house every ten feet apart. I hope that the public is given a chance to discuss this or vote on it at least. Or, I would make these two sign in blood that they will not build houses on this site.
Are you Serious

United States

#15 Mar 1, 2009
Even if they do flatten the land its going to take years for the new earth to settle. If they build on top there is no doubt going to be sink holes etc. This is just trouble...

Since: Mar 07

AOL

#16 Mar 1, 2009
Are you Serious wrote:
Even if they do flatten the land its going to take years for the new earth to settle. If they build on top there is no doubt going to be sink holes etc. This is just trouble...
This was my original thought but didn't mention it, I know nothing about sinkholes, however it sure would seem like that would be a possible risk ?????
John

Philadelphia, PA

#17 Mar 1, 2009
Sinkholes generally come from limestone deposits where the limestone dissolves and the soil above fills the hole leaving holes on the surface. Slate is partially metamorphosed shale and is relatively stable. I think the risk is more of this concept called subsidence that some of the folks have mentioned where the ground settles slowly and unevenly over many years making buildings crack and settle in odd ways. If you want to see what this looks like visit Philadelphia and take a driving tour of 43rd street which is built on fill that was poured in over Mill Creek and look at how amazingly crooked some of the homes are. I believe Centralia (where the coal burns underground) also suffers from this.

I don't see how they could get around this settling - especially considering how deep these quarries are. If they fill them in with Slate and compact it with large heavy Vibrating machines to pack the rocks down - adding sand and gravel to help fill any gaps the soil would be relatively stable.

My guess is that the soil under the piles of waste rock, however, is stable and safe to build on and very valuable. This is what the developers are really after - they just don't want to come out and say it. I would also bet that this land has lots of road frontage and is very desirable due to its easy access to utilities.

The developer will push the waste rock into the hole. It won’t cost much more than it costs to clear a sight for development anyway. When that isn’t enough fill they will then get paid to fill it in with other fill (construction materials, waste from road projects, waste rock from other mines, fly ash, etc.)

Now that they have the land they want they might just forget about filling the quarries in and just put up a fence and build on the land.

Or, maybe when the hole is full they could make the unstable land into a park by planting vegetation and donate it to the township as "green" space or even at wetlands if they work it right.

This donation of green space could allow the builder to wreck already existing green space somewhere else --which could be very valuable--. The township could be so enamored with the donation of land that they could make variances for things like unsafe intersections, undersized sewage treatment plants that could leak raw sewage during rainstorms, and even better the township could agree to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars building infrastructure for the developers on the taxpayers dollar.

More developed land will mean overcrowded schools and then more schools, traffic and the need for bigger roads, more social services, etc. taxes will go up. The commissioners will tell you that the tax revenue from the development with pay for all of this – it won’t – it is the argument that developers use over and over again. You will pay for it and the developers will get rich and if you watch closely the commissioners might benefit from this with bigger driveways and additions to their homes, in ground pools, etc. The ones that don’t go along with the plan will be gradually forced out of office and replaced with developer friendly folk.

Ask the developers for a little money up front to cover the cost of improving infrastructure and they will turn their tails and run to the next community. Stand up strong to the developers and say no and they will try to pass you off as local bumpkins.

So the choice is ugly holes in the ground and the status quo or a new development and a park and the potential for higher taxes. It is not going to be an easy choice.
Fisherman

Allentown, PA

#18 Mar 2, 2009
John wrote:
Sinkholes generally come from limestone deposits where the limestone dissolves and the soil above fills the hole leaving holes on the surface....
Excellent reply.
Daa

Kunkletown, PA

#19 Mar 2, 2009
A Super Wal-mart..of course.
JoisyGirl wrote:
I'd just like to know exactly what they plan to place on the land once these quarries are filled. I noticed they said industrial & commercial but I'm curious if they know yet exactly what companies will occupy the land. What about the local town(s) using the land for local use? A new library, teen center, etc etc???
ron decesare

White Haven, PA

#20 Mar 3, 2009
I'm one of the developers... I invite any and all of you to callme at my office...The Great American Real Estate Company, Wind Gap, Pa.(this forum will not allow phone numbers to be posted). If you are truly interested in all of the positive aspects I'd be glad to answer the posed questions (we have over $ 200,000 of our own money invested in engineering & studies) We hope to make a profit AND do good for the community...It Can be done !! This is a tremendous opportunity for everyone to win !!! give me a call...I'll explain...or just continue whining...

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