Owner of rock quarry suing East Haven officials for $25 million

(WTNH)–The owner of a shoreline rock quarry is suing the town of East Haven for $25 million, alleging the town is trying to shut the business down.

The rock quarry has been around for 70 years, but the owner now says he’s been handed a cease and desist order. Since 2013, the town has granted them 37 blasting permits, but two weeks ago, the owner says they were denied and shut down.

“Fully insured, fully licensed blasting contractor, went in for a permit, and was told that he’s been told by the mayor not issue any more permits,” said attorney Peter Alter. He says there was no reason given by the town.

Farm River Rock says the mayor has been bullying and harassing them. In one year, the town jacked up its land taxes from $15,000 to $107,000 an acre.

“There is a concentrated effort by the mayor at his direction and Town Officials to attempt to tax this quarry out of business,” Alter said.

Attorney Atler says the average tax on a quarry in Connecticut is somewhere between 10 and $12,000 an acre.

News 8 went to East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo’s office to get some answers. They had no comment, and told us to contact the town attorney.

The East Haven town attorney talked to us at length off camera but says he just got the $25 million lawsuit on Friday, and has not had time to fully read it through. He expects to comment on it next week, but for now the rock crushing equipment at the quarry will remain idle.

“If allowed to operate and realize the stone that is available, that we know is available, it’s worth anywhere from $40 million to 60 or $70 million,” said Alter.

The owner said this is just the first round of lawsuits, and that these suits are against the mayor and town officials. He may also be forced to sue the town itself as he tries to get back into business.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s