In a 2-1 vote Monday night, the Hilltown Township Board of Supervisors approved an amendment to an original 2005 township agreement which will extend mining operations at the Blooming Glen and Rice quarry tracts until 2040 and provide increased revenues to the township.

The supervisors were presented with a six-page addendum for their approval by representatives from stone and concrete contractors Haines and Kibblehouse of Skippack, Montgomery Co.

Since Haines and Kibblehouse assumed ownership in 1973 of both Hilltown quarries, this is their third request to continue mining at Blooming Glen.

The addendum specifies beginning January 1. 2014, Hilltown receives increased quarrying fees per ton of stone mined, more per load for inbound materials used for land reclamation, and a minimum flat quarrying fee of no less than $100,000 annually.

Additionally as per the addendum, Haines and Kibblehouse pays a $12,500 extension surcharge annually to the township beginning in January 2021 through December 2035. In 2036 through the final mining year of 2040, the yearly contract extension surcharge pertaining to this "five year extension option" would rise to $25,000.

According to an addendum attachment, other modifications to the original 2005 agreement allows the Blooming Glen Quarry to become a ten-acre wide recreation lake with a depth of thirty feet. The new lake also would be outfitted with a fishing pier, boat ramp, walking and nature trails, and parking lot.

As per the addendum and following the completion of quarry reclamation, Hilltown would reclaim close to 52 township property acres.

Supervisor James Groff who voted for adoption of the new addendum stated, "It's a good deal and the township makes more money and gets paid reclamation fees."

Outgoing Board Chairperson Barbara Salvadore agreed with Groff and justified her approval of extended mining at Blooming Glen by commenting, "It's for sustainable revenue over a longer period of time."

Board Vice Chairman John McIlhinney remarked, "It's all about the money" following his refusal to vote in favor of the addendum.

He doesn't believe extending the quarry mining deadline is in the best interest of the taxpayers because further changes to the original 2005 agreement will continue to be requested by the contractor in the future.