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Company reviewing options after judge says Tippecanoe County blocked quarry legally

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LAFAYETTE, Indiana — Tippecanoe County commissioners acted legally when they passed an ordinance blocking a proposed limestone quarry project along the Wabash River, a judge has ruled.

The judge ruled in favor of the county on all counts in a case brought against them by Nashville, Tennessee-based Rogers Group Inc. over a quarry planned near the town of Americus, WLFI-TV and the Journal and Courier reported Monday.

The commissioners passed the ordinance last year. Rogers Group filed its lawsuit in January, alleging that the county commission did not have power to do so, had violated Rogers Group's mineral rights and taken land owned by the company for public use without just compensation.

The ruling, issued Friday by Tippecanoe Superior Court Judge Randy Williams, disagreed.

"The Board of Commissioners of Tippecanoe County properly passed the Ordinance as an exercise of its broad home rule authority to regulate conduct, or use or possession of property that might endanger the public health, safety or welfare," the ruling said.

County Commissioner Tom Murtaugh said the court saw the ordinance as a public safety measure rather than a zoning ordinance, which was key to the ruling.

"We're happy that at least at this point unless an appeal is filed, this is the end of the issue of the quarry in Americus," Murtaugh said.

The company issued a statement, saying it is "in the process of reviewing options."

Rogers Group wanted to build a quarry on 524 acres of land near Americus.

The ordinance approved by the county's Board of Commissioners in July prohibits stone quarries within a two-mile radius of 100 homes. Many residents in the area about 10 miles northeast of Lafayette have opposed the quarry plans, citing worries such as dust, truck traffic, blasting and property values.

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