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ALTON - Alton Mayor David Goins gave an update on mining operations and the Gordon Moore Park reopening process following the sinkhole that emerged at the soccer field above a New Frontier Materials mining site. At Wednesday’s City Council meeting, the mayor also debunked rumors of mining activity below the Milton neighborhood.

Goins said on-site experts are nearly done drilling within a certain zone approved by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to determine the depth of the rock ceiling before the process of reopening Gordon Moore Park can continue.

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“MSHA has approved a drilling plan for them to drill a certain segment of what they call the K Zone to determine the depth of the rock ceiling to make sure that that is safe,” Goins said. “That drilling has commenced and that drilling is close to being completed, and once that drilling is completed, they will submit another report to MSHA and then that could possibly move forward in regards to the process of reopening the park again.”

Goins also took the opportunity to ease the concerns of residents in the Milton area, where there was falsely rumored to be mining activity taking place beneath the surface.

“I know there’s been some talk that the mining was going under the Milton area, it was going under the Holiday Inn area,” Goins said. “I just wanted to quell those rumors that there is no mining being done outside of the realm of [Illinois] 140 … it doesn’t cross under 140 and it doesn’t affect the Milton area, so I just wanted to put that out there to kind of quell some of the fears of our residents in that area.”

Alderman Raymond Strebel said Rep. Nikki Budzinski plans to introduce legislation to further regulate mining activity, which he was concerned may lead to a legal battle with the city. City Attorney Tonya Genovese said she doesn’t believe the city is currently at risk of litigation as the city has been cooperating with New Frontier Materials, who have been cooperative with federal regulators.

A full recording of the July 10, 2024 Alton City Council meeting is available at the top of this story, on the Riverbender.com Facebook page, or on Riverbender.com/video. All Alton City Council meetings can also be watched live or on demand on the Riverbender.com Facebook page, Roku app, or YouTube channel.

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