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I attended the County Commission special meeting this month with an open mind in regard to the Tarmac King Road Mine project. I say with an open mind because I have heard the pros and cons from both sides and wanted to hear the facts, figures and opinions from both sides. Well, I sat for eight hours and listened to it all. Tarmac had answers to the concerns that some people had in regard to the mine, yet I could tell from looking around the room that several people were not there to listen to the facts. They had their minds made up and nothing was going to change that. I listened to the points that the opponents presented and found several of them to be mistruths and unfounded, yet person after person was given their opportunity to speak, and after several hours it was just the same story being repeated over and over again. After the eight-hour marathon, Commissioner Drew’s issue still remained that all the permits were not attached to the application. Isn’t that one of the conditions of final approval to start the mining process? If you build a home in Levy County you apply for a permit with them and have to get a septic tank permit from the health department. You do not have a permit from the health department until it has been inspected, after the house is built! Then, the county issues a certificate of occupancy.
This is basically the same situation; let’s not put the cart before the horse. Tarmac asked for an approval with conditions, one of which is the permit from the Army Corp of Engineers. This special exemption was granted by a vote of 3-1. The three yes votes are elected officials and the one no vote is an appointed official. This is an indication that the people of Levy County have spoken. They want and need jobs, of which projects like Tarmac and Progress Energy are going to provide. The Town of Yankeetown has decided to sue, costing the taxpayers of both Yankeetown and Levy County more money on a baseless lawsuit, and in these economic times, thanks Yankeetown! Tarmac is going to proceed with the King Road Mine, if needed they will get the required permit from the Corp of Engineers and be back. Will that situation require another eight-hour meeting followed by another 3-1 vote for approval? Let’s hope not. It would be even more money being wasted by us hard-working taxpayers on something that is coming, like it or not. I know several people will argue with me, but unless you sat in that meeting with an “open” mind and listened to the “facts,” then you really don’t have a leg to stand on.
Levy County Taxpayer