Proposed Gravel Mine Has Athol Homeowners Upset

ATHOL, Idaho — It came as a shock last week to dozens of homeowners in North Idaho. Now, they’re fighting back against a proposed mine, planned two miles north of Athol on the Bonner-Kootenai county line.

One homeowner learned about the proposal from a newspaper article. Most of her neighbors say they had no other warning a mine could be built in their backyard.

On Tuesday, Bonner County’s Planning Commission could approve a permit for a surface mine and rock crushing operation. Homeowners met on Sunday to discuss how to convince the planning commission to vote against the proposal.

They’re concerned about possible impacts on the aquifer, real estate prices, noise from increased traffic and the safety of their children. They also point out that there are other existing nearby gravel pits for sale.

“We all have horses, we have ranches. The people on the ridge bought for the views. He’s going to turn that into a hole,” said Sandy Lane-Garmeyer a homeowner near the proposed site.

The mine is proposed by the David L. Haman trust. Requests for contact were not immediately returned from that company or anyone else involved in the development. The plans do indicate the business intends to work with homeowners to control traffic, noise and dust concerns.