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Judge allows Wake Stone to continue with ‘exploratory drilling’ on RDU land

A Wake County judge has granted a temporary restraining order, barring Wake Stone Corporation from fully exercising its lease on a tract of airport-owned land near Raleigh-Durham International Airport, but allowing the rock crusher to continue its exploratory activity on the property.

Specifically, a judge granted a TRO on actions beyond the “exploratory drilling” Wake Stone is already doing.

An evidentiary hearing will be held in the next few weeks to consider an injunction.

Triangle Business Journal – Mar 18, 2019

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3/6 Letters: The pros and cons of a quarry at RDU.

The Raleigh Durham International Airport is critical to our economic future and should be applauded for leveraging assets (like stone for a quarry) to be successful. Wake Stone provides important materials for our region’s growth and has been a good neighbor, plus they are offering substantial financial support for community recreational purposes. The RDU Authority has made a rational decision on behalf of our collective interest in having a great airport. Our local governments likewise are doing an excellent job of protecting many green spaces for the enjoyment of our citizens. Opponents of the RDU/Wake Stone Lease offer a false choice. We are not sacrificing our outstanding quality of place to accommodate RDU, rather we are making a wise long term decision for our region’s continued economic prosperity.

Harvey Schmitt
Raleigh

News & Observer-March 6, 2019

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Wake Stone exec: Why we’re leasing RDU land for a quarry

Friday’s decision to approve the lease of Raleigh-Durham International Airport-owned land to Wake Stone Corporation may have seemed sudden to environmentalists and trail enthusiasts, but not to Sam Bratton.

Bratton, president of Wake Stone, says it’s the result of more than a year of stakeholder engagement – some of it with the same folks holding signs that read “Stop RDU Quarry.”

“It’s just that they don’t like the outcome,” he says. “We’ve tried to provide a win-win – near-term recreational benefits, long-term recreational benefits.”

And the quarry compromise won’t just fund bike trails. It will also provide the crushed rock needed to support a growing Triangle, he says.

Triangle Business Journal – Mar 5, 2019

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Commissioner says a ‘win-win’ is possible from Wake Stone’s RDU proposal

Sig Hutchinson, Wake County commissioner, was extremely vocal in 2017 against Wake Stone’s quarry proposal, prior to RDU’s initial rejection. At the time, Hutchinson urged his fellow commissioners to officially outline their support of an alternate bid – that of The Conservation Fund, which would have preserved the entire tract as an extension of the Umstead State Park.

On Thursday, he says the community should keep an open mind about Wake Stone’s offer this time, which also includes a plan to preserve some of the nearby bike trails.

“You have to understand that [RDU has] a fiduciary responsibility to the airport and the airport needs money, they need stone for a runway and they have to weigh those opportunities and come up with the best decision for the airport,” he adds. “I personally think that, understanding that their fiduciary responsibility is what it is, we can create a win-win situation out of this. In looking at the plan they are offering, they’re offering substantial resources to Wake County that is going to, hopefully, allow us to make legal the 286 mountain bike trails that are currently being ridden illegally.”

Triangle Business Journal – Mar 1, 2019

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RDU’s Land-Lease Agreement Secures Funding for Critical Infrastructure

Raleigh-Durham International Airport’s passenger traffic has increased 42 percent since 2010, and it is projected to grow another 10 percent in 2019. Financial projections show the airport’s traditional funding sources – such as grants, parking, airplane service fees, terminal rentals and concessions revenue – will not cover the capital expenses needed to accommodate passenger growth, new flights and larger aircraft.

On Mar. 1, 2019, the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority Board of Directors voted to generate new revenue through a land-lease agreement with Wake Stone Corporation to help fund crucial infrastructure projects including a new runway, more gates and better amenities for its 12.8 million annual customers.

The agreement is projected to generate about $24 million from a 25-year, 105-acre expansion of the adjacent existing quarry to help fund airport capital improvement projects. The agreement also requires Wake Stone to provide $3.6 million for a third party to lease 151 acres of airport land for mountain biking recreation. Wake Stone will contribute an additional estimated $3 million at the end of the agreement to reclaim the site with recreational features…

RDU News Release-March 1, 2019

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RDU asks Wake Stone to find ‘compromise’ for controversial land

Over the past year, Wake Stone has tried to restart leasing discussions for a tract of land near Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

When Wake Stone approached RDU again over the tract, the board listened, Landguth says in an interview.

But it didn’t bite on the offer, instead directing Wake Stone to “engage all the stakeholders,” including the environmentalists who had fervently spoken against its first proposal.

So that’s what Wake Stone did – starting with Wake County Commission, where it made a presentation Nov. 13.

Wake Stone is proposing a 35-year mining lease, and as part of an effort to compromise, it plans to contribute $3.6 million for lease payments for a 150-acre mountain biking center on RDU property. Wake Stone also pledges to – once mining is complete – build “recreational features” such as trails and overlooks on the site, according to its presentation to Wake County commissioners.

Triangle Business Journal – Nov 26, 2018

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North Carolina’s Newest Park Is A Must-Visit Destination

The highly anticipated Winston-Salem Quarry Park is finally open to the public and so far, has only received stellar reviews, between breathtaking views of the Winston-Salem skyline and unique overlook situated above a dreamy blue quarry. While many Winston-Salem natives knew of the quarry long before its public debut, it’s now accessible to more than just unruly teenagers and curious adults, but the entire public. Once you visit, you’ll see what the hype is about.

For years, more than 200 wooded acres were left to the demise of nature near a quarry filled with water and formerly owned by Vulcan Materials. The project was spearheaded in 2014 as part of a $30.85 million parks and recreation bond request. In total, the new quarry park renovation costs $5 million.

The Quarry Park features an overlook pier that extends over the quarry and offers stunning views of the Winston-Salem skyline.

Cyclists also enjoy exploring the park, as it connects to the greenway. For those who want to visit, it’s easy to park, walk and explore. Besides the overlook, visitors can traverse the park and walk around the rock-encircled quarry from overlooks and pathways that are also safely guarded for young explorers.

Only in Your State – Sept 03, 2017

Photo Copyright Michael Steed

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