KEARNEY — A Hastings company, Vontz Paving, on Tuesday night was granted the conditional use permit it requested from the Kearney City Council to operate a gravel pit two miles east of Kearney.

Councilman Bruce Lear abstained, but the four other council members — Mayor Stan Clouse, Randy Buschkoetter, Tami James Moore and Jonathan Nikkila — voted in favor of the permit. Four votes are necessary for a conditional use permit. The gravel pit request was on the council’s Dec. 10 agenda, but with Clouse absent and Lear abstaining, only three council members could have voted.

Neighboring landowners Roy, Rex and Linda Benson objected to the gravel pit. The Bensons said their ground is highly erodible and, coupled with a high water table, the gravel pit could cause problems with blowing sand and flooding.

Vontz Paving will build an earthen berm around the pit to control blowing sand.

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