My husband and I attended the meetings on Monday, Dec. 3 and Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, held at City Hall in La Salle concerning expansion of the mining operations of Illinois Cement.

The City of La Salle has annexed farmland of Dimmick Township in order for Illinois Cement to continue their strip mining of limestone.

The people of Dimmick have no say in the matter; it was up to the City Planning Committee, the mayor and councilmen to decide the fate of Dimmick families and homes. The noteworthy fact here is that none of the decision-making body lives in Dimmick.

Testimony from Dimmick residents described the alarming aftermath of past and current operations of Illinois Cement in Dimmick.

Neighbors to the quarry have endured “dust storms,” gaps in window fittings, cracks in concrete basement floors and even a dried-up well, in addition to noise and shaking from heavy blasting and truck traffic.

The mayor and majority of council members would not consider putting a referendum on the spring ballot to learn what their constituents wanted. The people of Dimmick — neighbors by hundreds of feet to the quarry operations — have no vote at all.

After hearing the final speaker from the attending public, a vote to proceed with all permits for Illinois Cement was taken, with no deliberation on the part of the council. It appeared to be a “done deal.”

Councilman Mark Schneider did qualify his “aye” vote with the residents being offered well protection. The city failed to protect Dimmick residents through negotiations on blasting intensity, set-back lines, or repairs to structural damage. Once again, government was able to make decisions that will affect the lives of every citizen in Dimmick, some of them multigenerational families, whose legacy and dreams are forever changed.

Alice Westbrook, La Salle homeowner and Oglesby resident

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