Florida: Newberry city commissioners said that on Nov. 28, they plan to cast the final vote for or against the special-use permit that would let the Florida Rock cement plant on County Road 235 double its cement-making capacity. The commission had originally planned to decide on Monday, but opted instead to save an hour or so of public testimony and the final vote until another meeting scheduled for November 28.
As it did Monday, discussion is likely to focus on conditions for an approval, with noise levels and air monitoring the most prominent issues. Some commissioners said they might ask Florida Rock to agree to monitor ambient air quality as a condition. Now, the company monitors the emissions from its smokestacks, but not the air quality in other parts of the city.
"I’m still in the process of researching whether that’s a reasonable thing to ask for," Commissioner Brad Caron said. "I have nothing against Florida Rock. They have been a good neighbor. But we do get citizen complaints and I just think it would relieve some anxiety."
Segundo Fernandez, an attorney for Florida Rock, said the city should take measures to keep the next meeting shorter, asking the city to limit public comment Nov. 28 to people who were waiting to speak on Monday. Fernandez said Florida Rock would find a way to gather its team of experts for the second meeting, but told the city it wouldn’t be easy. "Obviously, we’ve gone to considerable expense to bring a lot of experts here from all around the state," Fernandez said. "We are concerned. This has been pending since December of last year."
Though commissioners said they plan to vote on Nov. 28 barring any huge surprises, Glanzer said from the city’s perspective, there’s no deadline for that vote. "Much to Florida Rock’s dismay, we can postpone it as long as we need to," Glanzer said.