"Glass dust" facility decision delayed

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MANATEE COUNTY - Residents of the Villa Del Sol mobile home park in Manatee County say glass dust, which they believe blows over from the Strategic Materials glass recycling plant next door, is making them sick.

"It's in the air, it's in a couple people's lungs, it's on our car, and we just gotta keep fighting," said resident Susan Durham.

In January 2013, Strategic Materials was cited by Manatee County Code Enforcement for violating multiple county codes.

Wednesday morning, the issue was brought before the Manatee County Code Enforcement Board. Residents from the mobile home park had hoped they'd start to see changes after the meeting, but that's not what happened.

"I don't believe it should have been extended again, this is continuing and its a little aggravating," said Durham.

The county agreed to a continuance, delaying any action for another month at the request of Strategic Materials, which says it needs more time to address the issue. The company denies committing any violations.

"We respectfully submit that we don't necessarily believe that we're in violation of the code but we recognize that we want to be good neighbors and take steps to make life better for our neighbors," said Strategic Materials' attorney Charlie Bailey as he addressed the Code Enforcement Board. Bailey declined a request for a one-on-one interview to explain his clients position,

He did tell the board the company has taken steps to lessen their impact on the surrounding community.

"We have over the last eight months, taken substantial steps in terms of erecting a screen around our west boundary," said bailey.

Residents say that screen does little to keep the dust out of their homes and bodies. And now with another month to wait, some wonder whether a solution will ever be reached.

"Nothing is getting done, now we have to wait another whole month and then come back again," said Durham.

The Code Enforcement Board will discuss the issue again on March 13, 2013.