Last year Boughton Materials, Inc. (BMI) sued the Will County Board who had unanimously denied the company’s application to use a rock quarry near a heavily residential area for waste concrete crushing.
In December, the board decided to settle, resulting in the rezoning of 22 acres of land that BMI already owned, from agricultural use to industrial use, permitting the company to proceed with its crushing operation.
That settlement was unknown to the community until just a few weeks ago and now seven residents have filed a lawsuit, asking the Will County Circuit Court to void the settlement because the county board’s passage of it involved no public hearing.
“A deal was struck where despite the Illinois Open Meetings Act, despite Will County’s own ordinances, the settlement happens, and it’s clearly insufficient and we want to be known to the Will County government, that Will County Board that’s supposed to be between the business and the community. And they didn’t do their job,” said Chris Monovich, a plaintiff in the case.
As of early March, BMI had started their concrete crushing operation here along 111th Street, but nearby homeowners say they won’t give up their fight.
“Concrete’s porous. It’s hard but it’s porous, and within that can be gasoline, oil, asbestos, depending on where it came from,” said Ken Nemeth, also a plaintiff. “When that stuff starts floating in the air, it’s going to make bad things happen to the health of our community, and that’s our concern.”
The homeowners’ lawsuit came just in time. The settlement between Will County and BMI was filed on December 19th and the residents had 90 days, or until March 19, to file suit, which they did on March 14.
“Frankly what we’d like to see is injunctive relief and get this thing stopped now until the courts decided who’s right and who’s wrong here and we believe we’re right,” said Nemeth.
The will county board has 30 days from the resident’s lawsuit, or until April 13 to respond.
We reached out to Naperville’s representatives on the Will County Board, Suzanne Hart and Chuck Maher, but they said at the legal advice of the state’s attorney, they weren’t ready to give a statement at this time.
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