News Local/State

Sunrise Coal:  No More Specific Plans with Homer Officials


A spokeswoman for Indiana-based Sunrise Coal Company says plans for its mine near Homer are moving forward, but there no specific plans now for meeting with village officials again.

On a 4-3 vote, the Homer Village Board Monday night approved the contract for selling treated water to Sunrise to set up the mine. The vote was a reconsideration of a February 11th vote, when village trustees voted against the contract 3 to 2.

Homer Mayor David Lucas said given the close vote and heavy opposition from the public, he doesn’t expect Sunrise to come before the board again, seeking a contract for raw water.   Sunrise spokeswoman Suzanee Jaworowski
said that’s up in the air.

“We really haven’t had discussions on raw water with village," he said.  "At this point we’re just focused on the potable and sewer water.  So moving forward, we’re just looking at all different alternatives, and the village would be one of those options.”

Jaworowski said she still expects Sunrise’s contract to be approved in early 2014.

An attorney for some Homer residents, Steve Beckett, and environmentalists questioned how the board could vote a second on the same contract Monday. 

Traci Barkley with Prairie Rivers Network compared the action to voting a second time in a race for president or governor. 

Village attorney Paul Hendren says the board had the right to consider the ordinance again as a new action.