Superior Offers Gravel Permit Tips
BY Sandy Lender
Jeff Kresnak’s three-year trial ended successfully May 5, 2015, when the Danby Township Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve his company’s special use permit request. That’s not an everyday occurrence for would-be stone, sand and gravel providers. Here’s how the president of Superior Asphalt Inc., Grand Rapids, Michigan, garnered a special use permit to operate a gravel pit on a 243-acre site south of Portland, Michigan.
First, Kresnak shared that the planning commission spent over 14 months reviewing and studying the proposal his team had submitted. Of course, there were opponents, and Kresnak said one fellow in Portland had done much research to learn the talking points for preventing the opening of a new gravel pit. Luckily for the local economy, Kresnak and team are not only familiar with those talking points but are also well-versed in how to counteract fear and communicate reality.
Kresnak put a positive spin on the ordeal, telling the Lansing State Journal, “The residents of Danby Township should feel fortunate to have the people on this planning commission because they have worked harder on this than any other planning commission that I have seen.”
But Kresnak’s modus operandi is more than positive spin. He believes in protecting the planet. He wants to learn more about using recycled plastics in asphalt mix designs, wants to plan ahead to help the neighbors in his community, and wants to share his experience to help members of the industry engage in best climate stewardship practices.
For example, Kresnak encouraged paving the site. Pave the driveway, highly trafficked roadways and the scale area. This not only keeps dust down to help satisfy your Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) permit, but it also keeps the neighbors from experiencing large amounts of drifting dust.
He also recommended looking into the aesthetics of the site, saying, “Have it nice.” For the Portland gravel pit, he purchased a 10-ton roller manufactured in 1931 and a 1910 grader to display near the entrance. “For about five grand, I made the entrance look like a museum.”
The clean look begins before operations do with planning for the end of operations. “There’s never a ‘right’ time to be a good neighbor,” Kresnak said. “You should always be a good neighbor. Build a better track record each day. Do your reclamation right for all our sakes. We’re here to leave a gorgeous product when we’re done.”
The pictures of the Portland gravel pit, now in operation, tell the story.