Sheriff Dart: Robbins quarry a bad deal for town

January 28, 2014 (ROBBINS, Ill.)

The report on the Robbins project was released Tuesday.

Impoverished Robbins has long been hungry for jobs and revenue, so when a developer proposed a mega project that includes a limestone quarry and asphalt and concrete factories, village leaders signed on even though it would mean the loss of 50 to 100 homes.

"You take something from us out here, we ain't got nothing. And then they want to relocate us. Where we gonna go?" Jimmy Martin said.

Martin and others may not be moving after all because a three month investigation by the sheriff's office concluded the quarry deal was a stinker.

"We were struggling to find anything that the town was getting," Sheriff Dart said.

The sheriff's team found developer ALM Resources lacks financing for the project and village trustee Shantiel Simon, who voted for the quarry, allegedly received a campaign contribution from the developer. The report says Simon is wrongly continuing as a trustee even though he's no longer a resident of Robbins. Another issue: the village attorney never saw the deal until after it was signed.

The whole thing, the sheriff says, should go back to square one.

"There's a new administration in now. Have them intimately involved in it. Have the people in the town involved and then if they want to go forward they can begin the discussion," Dart said.

"We want it to be fitting for the town. We don't want anything that won't be fitting for the community," Sean Howard, Robbins spokesperson, said.

Robbins' new administration may revisit the quarry plan, but It's unclear - at this point how soon or if it will be resurrected.

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