Residents speak out on Tarmac

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 It’s about water

To the editor:
    Tarmac wins, Levy loses. A few years from now Levy commissioners and planners will be quoting Bill Clinton who when asked about NAFTA said, “It sounded like a pretty good deal at the time.”
I came from Manatee County 26 years ago. I saw what happened there. Water wells freely flowed for farmers, no pumps, when I was a kid.
I left in 1984. Water in some wells was 100 feet below the surface. Small jet pumps for homes could not pump.  Manatee County drilled deeper wells with large turbine pumps to supply a county water system. This came as a great expense to the taxpayers.
As a former water well driller who worked Central and West Florida I collected thousands of wells samples for state and federal projects. I am quite familiar with what’s down there. Sinkholes are created when large volumes of water are taken from the aquifer. Surface sand caves in to fill these voids.
The overburden is thin in various parts of Levy County which leads to sinkholes. Heavy trucks and equipment increase this problem. (A sinkhole on) U.S. Highway 19 last year is an example. We don’t need sinkholes in this area. Not with two, possibly four, nuclear reactors nearby.
Some insurance companies will not sell sinkhole insurance.
I witnessed the slime pit spills in Central Florida. It still covers the bottom of the Peace River 40 years later. The waste lasts forever. The wells in Inglis and Yankeetown will feel the effects in time. As an example, water from sinkholes in South Chiefland has been found in Manatee Springs.
Who decides who gets the water? Farmers, homeowners, Progress Energy? Tarmac? Will they shut down so I can water my garden?
I personally feel our planning boarding and county commissioners are not qualified to make a decision of this magnitude. It needs to be a vote by the people.
They stopped Luther White’s rock pit and two water bottling companies.
Stop Tarmac.
Sell our water to South Florida, don’t give it away. Three million-plus gallons a day is lots of water.
The courting by Tarmac is almost over. It’s time to act.
God bless Levy County.
Jim Martin

Tarmac good for Levy

To the editor:
My husband and I live off State Road 337 southeast of Bronson and have been residents of Levy County since 2002.
Since this time we have seen businesses come and businesses go in Bronson, Williston and also in Chiefland.
 It is the people who live and work locally who make our communities strong, and jobs locally are needed to keep these people here.
This doesn’t seem to be the case in Levy County as far too many of our young people leave leave the county to make a living in other counties. In this economically stressed time of higher gas prices and the distances needed to travel for work has further increased the burden for many people.
I love this community and help it in every way possible, and I think it would be good sound logic to have a strong, solid business such as Tarmac to supply jobs needed by our community.
In my dealings with Tarmac and its employees over the past several years I’ve come to believe Tarmac is a business that will provide a strong level of support to our community in these distressed times.
I’m impressed with Tarmac’s charitable giving and willingness to help when needed. In talking with its employees, I believe their charitable help and support will continue when the company gets approval to open the limestone mine.
I do, however, know for certain the giving will end and Levy County will lose needed charitable support and jobs if approval isn’t received and Tarmac is forced to leave our area.
If Tarmac can prove its plans for the limestone mine will meet all the safety and environmental standards, I believe it will be a welcome and needed asset to Levy County and one I am comfortable supporting.
Norma Myers

We need businesses like Tarmac

To the editor:
I have lived in Levy County for most of my life. I wanted to be sure that my son was raised in this area  because to me it is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and this community means a lot to me.
Two years ago, I was approached by Tarmac to come take some photos of the areas surrounding their planned operation. I was employed by an environmental consulting firm and asked if an environmental scientist could join me on the trip. I didn’t want to be associated with a project if it was going to hurt my community.
Mr. Harris took us on a tour of the property. As we went from one site to another, he explained their plans to restore around  4,500 acres of the property to its original state. My co-worker was rather skeptical of the plans at first; however, as the conversation progressed it became clear that Tarmac was not your  typical mining operation.
My co-worker and I were both impressed with the measures they were taking to keep their environmental impact to a  minimum as well as the improvements they intend to make.
One of my primary concerns is the effect on the residents of Levy County. After reviewing everything, and asking several questions, I can say I am in favor of Tarmac’s plans. They have already had a positive economic impact, and if their plans go forward, the county will be reaping the benefits. There will be some jobs for local people, and  priority is given to local contractors.
I’ll admit I almost refused to take the photos for them because I didn’t want to be tied to something that might hurt my community. However, my photos now grace their website, and I couldn’t be prouder.
I ask anyone who has questions or concerns to spend some time with Mr. Harris. We need more businesses like Tarmac who will be responsible and take the environmental issues seriously.
Donna Childs