Madisonville City Council amends new mining ordinance

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 4:47 PM CDT
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MADISONVILLE, Ky. (WFIE) - Madisonville City Council met Monday night.

A main item on the agenda was making a decision on a mining ordinance.

It’s a decision council members have been mulling over for over six months.

After hearing from concerned citizens, lawyers, mining experts and the attorney general, a decision has been made.

Mayor Kevin Cotton says the city’s current mining laws are from 1970, and don’t prohibit any mining as it stands.

Cotton says if they don’t make a decision to change it, the city faces litigation.

The approved ordinance was one of four write-ups. It prohibits miners from going within 250 feet of someone’s property without written consent. The state’s regulation is only 25 feet. Cotton says this ordinance creates more restrictions to protect homeowners.

“The council has done their due diligence, they really wanted to make sure the city was protected, the citizens were protected, and what they learned was the ordinance we had previously was not protecting the city at all,” Cotton said.

Homeowners in the area of the proposed mining came to express concerns. Some worry the mining will damage their property.

“I’m not against mining, but I’m against them coming up under my house, and what assurance can you give me Mr. Mayor, that they won’t break the lines, and move toward the houses where I live, and sneak in there to get the coal?” asked one citizen during public comment.

But as of now, there are no laws prohibiting mining. The ordinance would add more restrictions, like restricting mining above 650 feet below ground to protect surface area.

“What we are attempting to do here as a council, is we are attempting to put those restrictions and regulations in place to protect you as a property owner, and I feel like these ordinances have done that,” Cotton said.

Mayor Cotton says it’ll be months before any mining takes place, as the mining company, Warrior Coal, has some details to work out themselves.

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