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Company seeks approval for temporary asphalt plant in Indiana Township

| Sunday, June 15, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

An Alle-Kiski excavating company wants to open a temporary asphalt production facility, and its request will soon go before the zoning hearing board in Indiana Township.

Independence Excavating Inc. will go before the board during a public hearing on June 24 to present plans to build a temporary asphalt batch plant on Saxonburg Boulevard. The company owns the property.

The request is going before the board as a request for a special exception to zoning laws because the township doesn't define what a “temporary asphalt batch plant” is, said Jeff Curti, code enforcement officer.

“Temporary meaning that it will not be there full time,” Curti said. “It's brought in and assembled, and it's for the purpose of operating an asphalt plant.”

During the public hearing, the company will be given a chance to define what the facility will be, what will be made there and its hours.

“He has the right to outline the plans,” Curti said. “He's looking to do this in conjunction with the turnpike project.”

Messages left for Independence Excavating regarding the details of the project were not returned.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike is being reconstructed between Harmar and Route 8. Curti said the construction is expected to continue through 2017.

Tom Fox, spokesman for the Turnpike Commission, said it is not involved with building the temporary plant and does not have a contract with Independence Excavating regarding turn­pike reconstruction.

However, Fox said, one of the contractors for one of the turnpike projects may be working with Independence on the asphalt plant.

He said there's no way for the turnpike commission to know whether that is the case since contractors don't need the commission's permission to enter into such a subcontract.

Residents will be able to voice their opinions during the hearing.

Curti said he hasn't received any complaints.

“Obviously, the concern is going to be noise and odor,” he said. “Those two factors, along with hours of operations.”

Curti said the company will need to address those concerns during the hearing.

There aren't many residents who live close to the property, but there are some residents who live within a few hundred feet of it.

“I would expect they would have some concerns,” Curti said.

According to Curti, the property, which is vacant, is zoned as industrial.

Curti said the decision to allow the facility to move forward probably would be decided at the hearing but could be revisited if residents' concerns are valid.

“Routinely, decisions are made at the hearing,” he said. “But if it's going to be a complex case, the zoning hearing board has the right to table it.”

Emily Balser is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-7710 or balser@tribweb.com.

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