Senator’s proposals call on City to reconsider mining levels, bonds.
Just days after extending a truce with the Cemex Mega Mine, the City of Santa Clarita will discuss two options presented by U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein, in an effort to help resolve the bitter dispute between the mine and the City.
Cemex has been planning a massive sand and gravel mine off of Soledad Canyon Road. That plan has been contested by Santa Clarita for years in an expensive public, legal and legislative fight. In February 2007, Cemex and Santa Clarita entered into a truce, in which both sides put their weapons down in an effort to pursue legislative options. That truce was recently extended through the end of June.
Senator Feinstein proposed two possible resolutions. One asked the City of Santa Clarita to support 1.5 million tons of mining per year. Currently, the City supports far less, calling for no more than historic levels of 300,000 tons per year.
“I’m certainly looking forward to hearing input from my fellow council members on this,” said Mayor Bob Kellar. “On an initial basis I feel that the proposal of one and a half million tons to be very excessive and detrimental to the community.”
Although Mayor Kellar was reluctant to go into further detail before consulting with the City Council, he did express his delight that Senator Feinstein had become involved. “I applaud Senator Feinstein for having the interest to try and help us come up with a satisfactory solution to this,” he said.
The second option proposed by Senator Feinstein explored the idea of a General Obligation Bond to raise the money needed to buy out the mine’s contracts. The contracts are said to be worth over one hundred million dollars.
“To put the cost of this on our citizens seems terribly inappropriate to me, seeing as how we didn’t have a chance to vote on it to get it, why should we have to pay to get something off of our table that we didn’t ask for,” Mayor Kellar said.
Senator Feinstein was not available for comment on this matter. A representative from Congressman Buck McKeon’s office told KHTS that McKeon was reviewing the options presented by Senator Feinstein.
The Santa Clarita City Council will discuss the options at Tuesday’s regular meeting, and KHTS will report on their comments shortly after the Council meeting ends.