A special use permit was granted Monday for Florida Crushed Stone to build a larger state-of-the art cement kiln at their plant off U.S. 98 in Brooksville. The company will use the kiln to produce more cement during the current international cement shortage. The permit was granted during a 4 to 1 vote of the the county’s planning and zoning commission. It does not have to go to county commissioners for final approval as do rezoning matters.
The vote came despite Commissioner Al.Sevier’s objections. He didn’t believe the board had enough information to grant the special exception use permit that would, he said, make way for some of the heaviest machinery in the county to be used at the cement plant north of State Road 50.
Company officials couldn’t answer Sevier’s specific questions regarding the possibility of additional air pollution or traffic on Yontz and Cobb roads.
His colleagues and other residents did not agree. Three business leaders and other commissioners on the panel spoke on behalf of the company’s newest acquisition. Each said that Florida Crushed Stone a good neighbor. "This plant would be a significant benefit not only to the local economy but to the nation," said Nicholas Nicholson, commissioner. "It’s an opportunity to enhance our needs in the county."
Florida Crushed Stone has received approvals from planning and zoning for two other permits to operate kilns in the past. This permit, however, allows for more machinery. Less than a half a million gallons of water a day will be needed to keep up with the updated machinery. Anywhere between 150-300 trucks would be needed after the kiln is installed. They would use roads surrounding the cement plant, possibly doubling current truck traffic in the area. Florida Crushed Stone will produce 1.8Mt of cement every year once its new kiln is operating and other improvements at the plant are made.