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Speak up if you oppose another cement factory


© St. Petersburg Times, published March 23, 2000

Editor: Does Hernando County need a third cement plant?

The state Department of Community Affairs is presently reviewing this land use change for U.S. 98 and Brittle Road, not far from the southern border of Citrus County. Florida Rock Industries wants some 48 acres, now zoned for mining, rezoned to industrial so it can build a $100-million cement plant.

The Brooksville area currently has two of these plants in operation. This is where all the rock trucks and cement trucks are coming from. Not only will a third plant create more truck traffic, it also will create more pollution in Hernando County. And since pollution does not know county lines, this sort of pollution affects everyone.

These plants burn coal and tires for fuel. They burn around the clock. The 285-foot smokestack should be warning enough that if this plant is approved, the pollution will travel.

The Withlacoochee Regional Planning Council believes this is a regional issue, and I agree. Hernando County's two Republican commissioners are all for this plant being built. It's my opinion that the tax dollars this plant will create matter more to them than citizens' health.

Please take the time to let the state Department of Community Affairs know your views on this proposed cement plant. Even if you already have told the commissioners how you feel, the state needs to hear from you. Send your comments by fax, e-mail or standard mail, or call before April 5: Scott Rogers, Planning Manager, Department of Community Planning, 2555 Shumard Oak Blvd., Tallahassee, FL 32399-2100; fax (850) 488-3309; telephone (850) 487-4545; e-mail
Carolyn Kress, Brooksville

Toll road supporters should look at what happened to San Diego

Editor: As a former resident of beautiful San Diego for 45 years, I saw what was a two-lane road from Los Angeles and Orange County for many years become, in the name of progress, an eight-lane nightmare with many overpasses and circles to bring the population of San Diego to 20 times what it was.

That led to huge taxes, urban sprawl, housing costs where anything decent was $225,000 and up, and unbearable traffic. That is why my wife transferred from the Navy Hospital in San Diego to Fort Hood, Texas. Then the Persian Gulf War broke out, and we had another San Diego nightmare on our hands.

When she retired six years ago, we found wonderful Citrus County and Pine Ridge Estates. We have been very happy here, and it is affordable -- at least for now.

By the way, the roads in California are not toll roads. This Suncoast toll road will do to our area what the roads in San Diego and Killeen, Texas, did: make it affordable for only the affluent and make a beautiful, peaceful area into just another concrete jungle.

Is there no refuge for people of modest means to live in anymore?
Ray Raphael, Beverly Hills

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