Topsoil excavation project draws complaints from neighbors

Goddard, Kansas – The county commission gave the green light Wednesday to a topsoil excavation project that has some neighbors ready to move. The 10 year permit was allowed on a 4 to 1 vote after several restrictions were put in place to ease concerns.

This vacant land at 13th and 151st street northwest of Wichita is kicking up dust and neighbors worry about an excavation permit allowing topsoil to be dug up and hauled away.

“I think it’s more of a risk than this neighborhood needs,” said Jason Sneed, who lives right next to the site.

One of the main concerns with the truck traffic and the dust it will create on 151st street. The excavator promises to use a water truck and road grader to ease those concerns, but some of the worries neighbors have are not going away.

”I don’t care what they do with the road I’m more concerned what they are going to do with my water,” Sneed said.

The site is owned by Towanda Land Company and Bob Bergkamp construction will be doing the work.

Calls to the company were not returned, but an attorney representing them defended the project at the commissioner’s meeting.

The commissioner approved the permit with restrictions, including restricting work to 7a.m. until 5:00 p.m and limiting digging to 15 feet to avoid groundwater contamination.

The commissioner representing the district where the site lies cast the lone no vote.

“I would of liked to have seen some things addressed because of the problems I think with the truck traffic that’s going to be appearing on the township road,” said commissioner Karl Peterjohn.

Commissioner Dave Unruh says a good compromise was reached.

“We have to protect everybody property rights and the person that owns that ground has a right to do operations that are within the law and within the planning policy and i think they were within those guidelines,” Unruh said.

The contractor says work will not be continuous and the site could sit idle for months the permit is valid for 10 years but an attorney representing the landowners says work will not go on that long.

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