CEMEX Construction Materials Florida is seeking to change the zoning on 728 acres fronting State Road 50 and Fort Dade Avenue across from Bayfront Health in Brooksville from residential and commercial to mining and commercial. They plan to use that property over the next 20 years for open pit industrial mining activities that will include blasting and removal of the existing pine forest, grassland, and wetland habitat adjacent to the historic Spring Hill Cemetery. Once the property is completely scarified, the property owners--Tommy Bronson, Jim Kimbrough, Robert Buckner, Powers Dorsett and Joe Mason--plan a commercial/residential development in the mining pit. Just what we need; more vacant storefronts and residences.
The mining activities have the potential to damage property in the area from cracks in homes to sinkholes from the percussion of the blasts, in addition to degrading our quality of life from the perpetual noise that will be heard in downtown Brooksville for the next 20 years. This project may lower property values and reduce the kind of environmentally-sustainable growth that Brooksville desperately needs. The plan to create a berm to hide the mining is an ecological abomination. This is inappropriate so close to a historic town and at a time when Hernando County is seeking to promote cultural and historical tourism as well as ecotourism along the Nature Coast.
CEMEX is a multi-national Mexico-based corporation that will lease the land for a short term, highly extractive purpose without generating any new jobs or economic benefit to the county, while at the same time congesting our roads with heavy trucks, destroying native habitat and discharging dust that fills the air with pollutants. Greenhouse gas emissions will be generated by the smelting, refining and other kiln operations of the cement plant operations to the rear of the property across Fort Dade Avenue. CEMEX was cited by the EPA for mercury emissions at another site in Hernando County and its South Brooksville plant is an abandoned eyesore that has become a blighted area. This project would allow removal of a large tract of wild forest bordering a canopy road that is supposed to be protected with a heavy 20-year industrial use that would not create a single new job while generating air and noise pollution.
The undersigned residents and property owners in Hernando County respectfully ask the Hernando County Board of County Commissioners to DENY the CEMEX permit to mine for lime rock over the next 20 years on the 730-acre tract on Highway 50 and Fort Dade Road in historic Brooksville. Thank you for your consideration.