HUBBARD, BROOKFIELD TOWNSHIPS Complaints of damage lead to blasting probe
Stone from the quarry is crushed and used in building and road construction.
By TIM YOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
HUBBARD -- Township trustees are trying to determine if blasting at a stone quarry is damaging nearby homes.
Trustee Fred Hanley said he has received about a dozen complaints of damage, possibly from blasting at City Stone Products on state Route 7 in Brookfield Township near the Hubbard Township line.
Complaints can be sent to Hanley at the Hubbard Township administration building.
Mary Jane O'Hara says the blasting being done at the quarry by Wampum Hardware Co. of New Galilee, Pa., has resulted in cracks in walls and ceilings in her home and garage.
She lives about 1,500 feet from the quarry, which began blasting operations early in 2001.
Denies cause: John Beatty, Wampum Hardware sales representative, said the explosions haven't caused the damage.
Readings from a seismograph in O'Hara's yard, taken to record ground vibrations, are well below the limits that cause structural damage, Beatty said.
The stone is crushed into various sizes at the quarry and used around basement walls and in road beds.
O'Hara said that though blasting began early last year, she wasn't notified of what was going on until July 24.
"The first time we heard it, we thought the furnace had blown up," O'Hara said.
O'Hara is miffed because she wasn't told of City Stone's plans before blasting began so she could express her concerns and discuss possible solutions.
O'Hara. a former librarian with the Hubbard Public Library, said she feels the vibrations from the weekly blasts, but neighbors who are at work during the day don't know what's going on.
Preblast survey: O'Hara said that during her Internet research on quarry operations, she discovered Wampum could have done a preblast survey to determine the structural condition of her home.
Beatty said state law doesn't require that property owners be notified before blasting begins, nor is a preblast survey.
He acknowledged, however, it probably would have been better if a survey had been done before blasting began.
"At least we would have a starting point" to determine further damage, O'Hara said.
"It has been very frustrating," she said, noting she has been told the blasting will continue for three more years.
Beatty explained he doesn't know how long the quarry work will continue because it depends on the demand for the stone.
State specialist: At the request of trustees, Michael Mann, blasting specialist with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, was at the quarry last week.
Mann checked quarry records, Beatty said, and became familiar with the operation.
Hanley said the area was once mined for coal used in steel-making operations in the Youngstown and Sharon, Pa., areas.
He expressed concern that vibrations from the explosions could cause the coal mine shafts to cave in.