Neosho County commissioners have approved the free use of a quarry that will generate profits for the local community in exchange for its unnamed owner forgoing all royalties in lieu of a tax write-off.
County road and bridge director Charlie Morse said the property owner had offered access to the quarry before but they did not feel comfortable accepting the rock without compensating the owner.
Current county attorney Linus Thuston expressed a different legal opinion. ?I don’t know why anyone would say no,? Thuston said. ?We are getting a gift and all it requires is for us to write a letter that they gave a donation to a government entity. I do my own taxes and I love seeing those letters come.
?That’s an in-kind contribution. We are a governmental entity that is not for profit. Why would you reject any donation? It’s baffling. I’d be perfectly fine with it.?
By accepting the offer, the county will save on royalty payments which Morse said cost the county $US0.25 cents per tonne.
However, he estimated the quarry could cost the county $US5000 to open, with at least $US3500 going towards engineering and the remaining $US1500 going to obtaining various permits and other paperwork.
?It will take me at least eight or nine months to get all the permits in place to do anything,? Morse said. ?I will need to contact wildlife and parks and water. It will take some time to put that together but given we’re making rock at about $US0.50 cents per tonne, we will be selling it for $US4.00 or $US5.00 a tonne.?
Source: The Chanute Tribune (US)