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Eric Zibbel: Another alternative to the mine

This letter is in response to Paul S. Schwartz’s Jan. 7 commentary, “Better uses for the Idaho-Maryland Mine property.” Like Mr. Schwartz, I also have an idea for a better use for the Idaho-Maryland Mine property. I propose a facility that will expand the Nevada County Fire Safe Council’s free green waste drop-off in the springtime to a year-round service.

More than just a free green waste drop-off location for county residents, the facility would be operated as a sustainable business enterprise. PG&E contractors, tree companies and landscapers would have to pay a fee to bring waste to the facility. Green waste would be processed on site to make wood chips, compost and other products to be sold to the public.

The facility would still provide a job engine for county residents with heavy equipment operators, truck drivers, mechanics and technicians being central to daily operations. With a robust business plan, the facility could expand operations and hire more staff to create the jobs of the future.

Over the summer I pitched my idea to a group of informed citizens. They pointed out that Rise Gold Corp. owns the property where the mine is located. How do you propose an alternate use for a property owned by a foreign corporation?

Could the county access state funds set aside for green house gas reduction programs, hardening properties against wildfire and other sources to purchase this property? A park would be nice, too.

Eric Zibbel

Grass Valley


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