SAGLE, Idaho — For the second time in under four years, residents in Sagle are gearing up to fight a proposed asphalt batch plant.
The project from Rathdrum-based Interstate Concrete gained approval from the Bonner County Planning and Zoning Commission earlier this month. On a 3-2 vote, commission members issued Interstate a conditional use permit to operate the plant at an existing gravel pit in Sagle. The pit, located west of US-95 on private land, encompasses 135 acres.
Homeowners living just west of the gravel pit, and some just a few hundred yards away, have expressed concerns regarding potential health and noise concerns with the proposal.
"Who wants to live by an asphalt plant?” questioned nearby resident Bob Staats, whose property abuts the gravel pit. "Why do we have to put up with worrying about our health, our water aquifer?"
A group appealing the Planning and Zoning Commission’s decision cited possible odors, bright lights at night, and potential US-95 traffic impacts as other reasons for concern. Staats said he and others draw their water from nearby wells and worried about the proposed facility impacting drinking water.
"We didn't plan moving next to an asphalt plant,” said Jonna Plante, another neighbor.
Plante said she and another resident near the pit both suffer from Multiple Sclerosis and said that noise and odors from an asphalt plant could impact their health.
Plante and others questioned why Interstate was attempting to start the process again after it had been over three years ago.
“I was wondering why? They've already battled this before,” she said.
Plante alleged that Interstate was possibly trying their hand at the plant again now that the Planning and Zoning commission has different members than it did in 2015.
Plante, Staats, and others now have less than 28 days to file an appeal with the county. If that happens, the decision on Interstate’s conditional use permit will rest with Bonner County Commissioners.
A message seeking comment that was left with an Interstate Concrete official was not immediately returned on Monday.