Menzel Lake Gravel sets record straight Dear Editor,
I would like to respond to Mr. Paul Winter’s comments in his June 24 Letter to the Editor.
There are several hard rock pits in the Granite Falls area, however, Menzel Lake Gravel is one of only a few sand and gravel operations in Granite Falls. Trucks drive on designated truck routes to and through the City of Granite Falls. The gravel pit is located within Snohomish County’s Mineral Resource Overlay and is zoned for this expansion.
Truck traffic is proposed to increase from 40 loads per day to a maximum average of 100 loads per day to accommodate demand peaks. Menzel Lake Gravel has an inter-local agreement with Granite Falls where we pay per ton for material leaving the pit and per yard of material coming into the pit through the City.
The current mining operations occupy 55 acres. The application submitted to the County (file number: 08-110459-LU) proposed expanding operations into 126 acres with an additional 157 acres protected in a separate Critical Areas Protection Area Tract. After hearing citizen’s comments and concerns at our public meeting we are now eliminating 37 acres adjacent to Menzel Lake Road, resulting in a 92 acre expansion.
At the pre-application meeting with Snohomish County, we learned that in order to build ball fields we would need a separate Conditional Use Permit to determine the impacts of the ball fields on the community and environment. This is not feasible. The new reclamation plan is to plant trees to produce renewable resources, provide fish and wildlife habitat and sequester carbon.
We agree with freedom of speech, but Mr. Winter’s First Amendment Rights do not give him the right to distort facts about our project. Mr. Winter was invited to and should have attended our public meeting on June 4 to discuss the issues face- to-face instead of spreading rumors and distorting facts behind our backs. Rob Hild Granite Falls
In response to Michael Kundu’s letter in the July 1 issue of the Journal.
Perhaps in my previous letter to the editor I had chosen the wrong words. The provisions in our state constitution are laws, not mandates. There are five sections in Article IX (Education): Sect. 1 is the preamble: “It is the paramount duty of the state…” etc. A preamble is an introduction, as a law, that states the purpose or reason for the matters that follow. The five sections provide that there be no discrimination, that funding come from a state fund provided by private donations and bequests from individuals and from taxation. That all public schools maintained or supported by public funds remain free from religious influence or control, and the state’s responsibility in the occurrence of a loss of permanent funding.
I am concerned that Mr. Kundu blames our legislators for what he calls “the failure to live up to that mandate for close to two decades.” It has always been private funds and taxes that have supported our public education system. The responsibility for any failure belongs to the voters. Next time a school levy vote comes up, citizens should consider very carefully before they vote ‘No’.