RAPID CITY, S.D. — Residents in an isolated Rapid City neighborhood that’s slowly being surrounded by mining activity haven’t been able to reach a deal with a mining company.

Property owners are accepting the reality of encroaching mining activity that continues to expand around them. Instead of fighting to stop it, some residents want to sell their properties to Pete Lien & Sons, a mining company that already operates nearby existing limestone mines. But the company and property owners haven’t been able to reach an agreement, the Rapid City Journal reported .

“We don’t have the lawyers or the money, like Lien does, to fight it,” said Dave Mitchell, a local homeowner.

Mitchell said he hopes to sell his home, but that the mining company gave him an inadequate offer.

County records show the area’s nearly 20 properties range from trailer homes assessed at less than $50,000 to houses assessed at more than $270,000. It would cost the company at least several million dollars to buy out everyone.

Homeowner Doug Peterson said he worked 20 years as a truck driver for Pete Lien & Sons before moving to the secluded area in 2007. He said he soon might see limestone mines and related mining activity almost all the way around his house.

“I’m not putting the company down,” Peterson said. “It’s a good company. I used to work for it. I just don’t want it in my backyard.”

The area where the homes are situated is a transition zone between low-lying urban development and the Black Hills National Forest. It’s also a favorable place to mine for the limestone rock that surrounds the Black Hills and is highly valued by the construction industry.


Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com