One More Meeting to Decide the Fate and Future Alachua County
Thursday, February 25th, 5:00pm * Eastside High School

A Phosphate mine in florida

A Phosphate mine in florida

It used to be that about everyone understood the meaning of this saying, a pig in a poke, but not so much now. Thing is, this so-called Plum Creek plan as presented under the guise of Envision Alachua is exactly a pig in a poke, something many Alachua County citizens are buying into without really knowing what they’re getting.

The pretense of this plan is that it provides for better development of the East side of Alachua County.  The claim is that it will preserve green space, eliminate the use of septic tanks in the new project area, provide for work centers to enhance employment in the region and create an environment that might attract further, progressive community building  in the area.

Very little of what is said to be favorable about the Plum Creek plan is true, while much of the plan is truly bad.

Though preserving 50% of the area as green space and the exclusion of septic tanks are two parts of this provision, the rest of the favorable blathering about Plum Creek is the “poke” that’s hiding the “Pig” in this plan.

The only major change in the provisions of land use not already provided by the recently voted in Alachua Forever plan is this:  Plum Creek Envision Alachua allows mining in the East side area.

To understand what this means, just check the Keystone area of Florida and search for the lakes that were once there before mining came to the region…..

by removing large volumes of phosphate from the ground every aspect of the environment becomes at risk(this mine is in Florida.)

By removing large volumes of phosphate from the ground every aspect of the environment becomes at risk(this mine is in Florida.)

Simply put, plum Creek is a mining bill that opens up Gainesville’s East side to phosphate mining-that’s the sole purpose of this plan in a nut shell. Speaking of nuts, who in their right mind would want a five acre property located near a phosphate mine? Especially when they had the pristine NW side of Gainesville to choose for a home site? Can you imagine the citizens of the North West side of Gainesville approving a phosphate mine in their local community?

It would never happen that the NW side of Gainesville would allow a phosphate mine near their homes….

The projected employment gain by this plan ranges from 2000 new jobs down to 200 jobs-the latter is more likely a true estimate at best. Why? Mining has never produced an environmental sound,  booming community nearby its mining site. In fact, mining has left environmental disasters all around the world in their wake.

Put a phosphate mine on the East side and you’ll never see people who are first moving to Alachua county choose that area as a place to settle….never.

The county has already stated that the proposed Plum Creek land does have abundant supplies of phosphate beneath the ground. Why is this important?

Another part of the Plum Creek plan that’s a Poke hiding a Pig is in its name. There is no Plum Creek anymore-Weyerhaeuser has bought the entire Plum Creek company. This is important since, although Weyerhaeuwser has glowing reviews on its timber management, Weyerhaeuser has perhaps the world’s worst record for causing or leaving behind environmental disasters when it mines anywhere.

 Yes-the new owners and developers of Plum Creek, Weyerhaeuser(pronounced ,ware-howser), is currently on the US Toxic round-up list, Canada’s Toxic violators list, and being sued in at least three countries in Europe for creating toxic waste sites.

Is this the type of company Alachua County citizens want to let mine in our county? No, is the only answer.

I remember hearing the then director of our Alachua County Library district, Ann Williams, as well as commissioner Charles Chestnut discuss the need for further development on our East side as far back as 1996. It is a struggle to develop the East side as quickly as we would hope to, but at least the beautiful Cone Park Branch of the Library district has come to fruition and fits the bill for progressive, advantageous development.

Our East side needs much more, but the last thing the area needs is mining. That would be a death knoll to future, more attractive development in the East side. This Plum Creek plan that allows mining is a slap in the face to all those who have worked to improve the East side for so many years.

Envision Alachua-The Plum Creek plan-is a pig in a poke. Don’t buy it. Please attend the final meeting on this issue at East Side High  school and ask the commissioners to check the true price tag of this proposal-mining- and ask our commissioner’s to turn down the Plum Creek plan.

One More Meeting to Decide the Fate and Future Alachua County
Thursday, February 25th, 5:00pm * Eastside High School

Thanks,

Franque23

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