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Marion County Commission votes against sand mine proposal after resident outcry

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 12:42 AM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - The Marion County Commission voted not to move forward with a proposed sand mine in the town of Anthony.

Residents expressed multiple concerns like the aquifer, property values decreasing and traffic as there are school bus stops nearby. They actually packed out the meeting wearing red bandanas.

Residents got together and created a Facebook group with nearly 700 members to fight the proposal.

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Gay Street said they have lived in Anthony right across from the proposed site for five generations, and the mine worries them.

“Not only safety but also our way of life and what we’ve come to be accustomed to, that quiet, quaint, know all your neighbors, to having trucks take out of natural resources,” Street said.

Owner of Anthony Materials Christopher Bennett, who is asking the commission to use the land as a mine, said they are almost out of sand for developments in North Marion County.

While many had concerns, he addressed pollution and the aquifer.

He said if the commission grants the petition, they will reduce the water that’s already being pulled from the area.

“The irrigation pivot will no longer be in use,” Bennett said. “Anthony materials will no longer use this well. This will save 21.3 million gallons of water per year.”

The vote on this item was unanimous.

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