Cemex expansion discussion delayed until Dec. 9

BROOKSVILLE — Commissioners accepted a request from Cemex to postpone discussion of a proposed mining expansion north of Brooksville until Dec. 9.

The expansion proposal was slated to go before the county commission Tuesday but Cemex asked for more time to prepare a presentation to help address concerns from residents and county staff.

James Morris, manager of aggregate resources with Cemex, said the company plans a computer-generated simulation of what a motorist would see while traveling State Road 50 and Fort Dade Avenue, where the mining will take place.

Planning and zoning board members last month shot down Cemex’s request to amend the county’s future land use map on a 730-acre tract. They determined that the expansion was inconsistent with the comprehensive plan. When asked how Cemex plans to change the county commissioners’ minds on that issue, Morris recently said “no comment.”

Critics of the expansion, many of whom live near the mining expansion area, fear the blasting would drive them crazy and that the vibrations would be so intense that their homes would shake. Others said they didn’t want to see the destruction of animal habitat and trees and that once word gets out that mining is increasing, tourists would stay away in droves from Hernando County. Some worry that mining would release dangerous toxins into the air that could cause health problems.

Cemex officials said residents’ fears are groundless and plan to address them before the Dec. 9 meeting.

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