My name is Estelle Jackson and my husband and I purchased our property at 38948 Indian Head Lane in the 1970s. At the time my husband built our dream home in which we would spend the rest of our lives.
We wanted to spend every day until our last looking out over the beautiful views of the pastures below and the mountains in this quiet, friendly corner outside of Crawford. My husband was lucky enough to stay in our home as we wished, with its tranquility and beautiful views until he passed away seven years ago. I too plan on remaining here. We bought this beautiful piece of property because of the beautiful views and serenity on the hill. Now I understand that our neighbors to the east of us plan to put in a gravel pit. While I respect their wishes to use the gravel pit to help finance their agricultural pursuits, I cannot help but worry about the hindrance to our views, the disruption of the noise, the nuisance and potential health detriment of the dust, and the effects of the water near my home.
1) We have one of the best views in Colorado overlooking the valley and pastures below us, and the beautiful mountains. The gravel pit with dirt road connecting it to Highway 50 is planned within the currently tranquil pastures below my home where I often watch the cows grazing. If my neighbor follows through with the gravel pit the pastures will no longer be a tranquil landscape.
2) The noise will not only come from the crusher and equipment digging out the gravel but also the trucks driving to and fro. They are estimating 11 loads a day which will be 22 trucks passing through per day, for six days a week. They cannot tell us what noise level from the trucks or the machinery in the pit itself will produce. I am hard of hearing and the increased background noise is going to decrease my ability to hear what little I can. My home will go from a constantly peaceful setting to one in which I will only have one day of peace and quiet per week.
3) At this point they are planning to use Grand View Ditch water which is meant to be used for agricultural purposes. Using this water for a gravel pit will take away from scarce resources that support agricultural production. An alternative that has been mentioned is to haul in domestic water from Crawford, water allocated for household use, not mining. This could very well put a strain on the system Crawford currently uses. Once the issue of where the water comes from is addressed there is the other issue regarding the chemicals that will be added to the water and which will contaminate our ground, the water we drink and the water that makes it to the agricultural projects it was originally intended for.
4) The increase in the amount of dust in the surrounding areas from the pit will not just be dirt blowing in the wind, but will contain silicates. Silicates have been proven to be very harmful to our lungs. This is a serious hazard which needs to be addressed and further researched prior to allowing the pit. The winds blow both east and west through this area and the increase in dust will not only affect the immediate surroundings but also the town of Crawford.
5) The adverse effects of the gravel pit could very likely hurt home values as well. When my time does come, I would like to leave behind the perfect dream home that my husband and I envisioned when we bought this land so many years ago. I do not want to leave my daughter a burden she cannot sell. Because, honestly, who wants to pay for a home with obscured views, noise pollution, and air pollution from dust? I would not have wanted my grandchildren subject to such conditions in my home and I do not want to subject my great-grandchildren to these conditions either.
If the gravel pit is to go in, maybe I'll be the lucky one and pass on before I have to see it come to fruition.