The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has received a revised land transaction application from Graymont, Inc. The company is proposing development of a limestone mining operation in northern Mackinac County near the town of Rexton. The land transaction application amends a January 2015 version of the proposal.
The revised land transaction application is unchanged in the total amount and location of public land under consideration. The new application proposes an increase in the offered royalty payment for the limestone to be mined. Under the revised application, Graymont would pay the state 30 cents for each ton of extracted limestone, up from an earlier offer of 18.75 cents per ton. Those royalties would be deposited into the State Parks Endowment Fund. In addition, Graymont is proposing to develop a regional economic development fund to provide grants for local units of government, schools and/or small businesses. The company has proposed to pay a timber consideration fee on Tract A, limit wetland impacts on Tract E, and has suggested possible routes for the relocation of recreation trails on Tract E. The entire revised proposal, along with maps of tracts under consideration, can be found at www.michigan.gov/graymontproposal.
The transaction had been slated for a decision by DNR Director Keith Creagh at the Feb. 12 Natural Resources Commission meeting in Lansing. However, in order to allow the public and the DNR to thoroughly review this revised proposal, the director will now make a decision on the land transaction no earlier than the March 19 NRC meeting in Roscommon.
The company has a second proposal pending – a mineral exchange application – which remains unchanged from a Jan. 15 application. This proposal seeks to exchange more than 1,700 acres of state-owned minerals under the Hiawatha National Forest in Chippewa County for 1,700 acres of Graymont-owned minerals under state-owned lands in northern Mackinac County. The mineral exchange application will go before Creagh for a decision at the Feb. 12 NRC meeting. The mineral exchange proposal can be found on the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/graymontproposal.
There are multiple ways people can provide comments about these proposals. The public will have an opportunity to make comments at upcoming NRC meetings. The DNR continues to maintain an email address for the public to comment. Interested parties may send comments to DNRGraymontProposalComments@michigan.gov. Mailed comments can be sent to the Roscommon Customer Service Center, ATTN: Kerry Wieber, 8717 N. Roscommon Road, Roscommon, MI 48653.
Comments will be accepted until a final decision is made.
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