By Jon Craig – All is quiet at a West Harrison quarry, thanks to a “stop work order” issued this month by Town of Harrison Building Inspector Robert FitzSimmons.
Neighbors said they can’t remember the last time it was this peaceful at the 92-year-old granite quarry located at 600 Lake St.
FitzSimmons said the quarry is now in violation of 19 codes “that need to be addressed,” including the alleged dumping of refuse and yard waste.
The quarry is facing daily fines of up to $2,500 on some of the alleged violations. Other code violations carry weekly fines of up to $250.
The town has taken the quarry’s owner, Lawrence Barrego, to court. Barrego appeared in court before Judge Marc Lust, without his lawyer present. He’s due to return to court with a lawyer on June 12. Barrego and his attorneys could not be reached for comment.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation also has identified nine violations of state law.
The stop work order, signed on May 14, listed 16 of the alleged violations of Harrison codes, including the lack of a stormwater retention and collection system and no site plan approvals for parking, fencing and trailers.
FitzSimmons said the quarry is prohibited from accepting any more recyclables and waste, and is not allowed to sell any material from the quarry while the stop work order is in effect.
Since March, neighbors who live along Old Lake Street and Lake Street have complained to the town board about continued noise, dumping, dust and other pollution at the quarry. Supervisor Ron Belmont and the town attorney have promised to resolve the problems, but said they are restricted from saying much publicly due to ongoing litigation.
It’s not the first time the town has tried to shut down illegal operations at the Lake Street Granite Quarry. In 2009, a stop work order was issued after neighbors complained the quarry was operating heavy equipment in the middle of the night without permits.
Barrego has argued that his company has been in operation since 1922, a year before Harrison’s zoning laws were adopted, thereby exempting the quarry from most town regulations.