top story

Overflow crowd packs hearing on Mosaic expansion Manatee Co.

  • 0

BRADENTON, Fla. --  The Mosaic Company wants to have 3,600 acres east of the Wingate Mine in Myakka City rezoned so they can expand their mining operations.

Linda Eneis, who lives near the Wingate Mine, says she has no problems with Mosaic's plans.

"They're a wonderful neighbor, they're a company that to me stands out for their concern for the neighborhood that they are in," said Eneis. Eneis is also a member of Mosaic's Citizens Advisory Panel.

One person who does have a problem with the expansion and is opposed to this is North Port resident Sharon Phillips.  Although she doesn't live anywhere near the mine, she has environmental concerns mainly with her well water.

"They have a right to be a business and make money, but there are alternatives to destroying the earth and crossing your fingers as to whether an accident may happen," said Phillips.

Officials from Mosaic say they are extremely environmentally conscious with plans for the wetlands that will be more beneficial to the area.

"They have been meeting with neighbors, meeting with the public, meeting with the regulatory agencies for many years on this project, and they already have their approval from the State Department of Environmental Protection," said Shannon Gonzales, a Senior Ecologist with Flatwoods Consulting Group.

Environmental issues are a big concern for this project because back in September radioactive wastewater vanished into a sinkhole at Mosaic's facility in Polk County.  Mosaic insists that spill did not affect drinking water.  For Tampa resident, Dayna Lazarus she's been buying bottled water since the incident.

"I want Mosaic to see that people are organizing, people are paying attention to what they're doing," said Lazarus.  "We're not going to go away, we care about Florida, we care about our homes, we care about our drinking water."

Phosphate mining was center stage at Thursday's Manatee County Commissioner's meeting.The meeting will resume this Monday at 10 a.m. with a decision expected to be made after commissioners finish hearing all the public input.