For background information, read Cemex Expansion. At the December 9th Hernando Board of County Commissioners meeting, Commissioners Dukes, Nicholson, Adkins, and Holcomb voted to send the issue on to the FDEP (Florida Department of Environmental Protection) with Commissioner Rowden voting against it. Shortly before they voted Rowden stated that she did not understand why the Commission did not agree with P&Z Commission findings. She wanted to postpone the issue since there has been many people speaking out against it as well as for it. She stated we are a divided community. There has not been a true economic impact analysis which she thinks is necessary to make an informed decision.
Commissioner Rowden made a motion to deny saying Cemex did not provide burden of proof for the comprehensive plan. Nobody seconded her motion and therefore it failed. Nicholson made a motion to approve and to transmit it to the state. Commissioner Holcomb seconded the motion. Diane Rowden asked that there be an amendment added requiring an economic study done before it comes back to the commission. Commissioner Nicholson said he would not add that. Rowden asked why he would not add it. Nicholson said that the economics of the situation is dictated by the people doing the mining and future development. Dukes, Nicholson, Adkins, and Holcomb voted to approve and transmit the plan to the state. Rowden voted against it. The FDEP will review it and decide whether or not to sign off on it. If the FDEP signs off on it, then it will come back to Hernando BOCC for final approval.
Cemex and staff disagreed on Item 10, what mitigation action to be taken. Mr. Johnston, the lawyer representing Cemex, pointed out that there are no specific requirements for upland mitigation like there is for wetlands. Mr. Pianta stated that he thinks something can be worked out. Commissioner Nicholson said that if the issue is not resolved between staff and Cemex, then the commission will have to decide when it comes back to them.
Discussion on the Cemex issue began at 10:00 am and ended at 5:30pm. There was an hour and a half break at 2:00pm. You can watch the meeting in its entirety.