To the Editor,
On Monday, county Commissioners Noah Woods, Tom Taylor, Hubert Sealey, David Edge, Jerry Stephens, Roger Oxendine and District 5 Commissioner Raymond Cummings unanimously granted a conditional-use permit to mine sand in the Philadelphus Agricultural/Residential community. Our elected officials failed to apply basic democratic principles — governance by the people.
It was readily apparent at the meeting that the citizens of the area affected most did not support the mining project in the proposed format. A simple, logical and meaningful request was asked for by the attending citizens — delay the approval and have the Department of Commerce investigate Buie Lakes Plantation LLC’s capability to deliver a quality mining operation. Is this too much to ask?
To the county commissioners, the people are still here; we have not moved, we want, we demand that you represent your constituents. The major issues discussed were not addressed properly by our elected officials during the convened meeting.
1. Water quality (Some residents are on ground source water).
2. One resident is across the road from the excavation site (offer to buy their property).
3. What will be the effect be on surrounding residents’ property value.
4. What are the effects on surrounding farm land created by a 100-plus acre, 50-foot hole that will fill with local water.
5. What are the impacts on local traffic (103 large trucks per day).
6. The citizens of the community researched the investors and found their proposal to be in constant change.
We understand that jobs and economic success must be achieved in Robeson County; however, at what cost? This is a Native American community, which is a rare commodity, and we are quite honestly amazed that our elected Native Americans would vote to rape the land without a proper review of what this outside investment firm is capable of delivering. Commissioners, give your voters the same respect you expect.
Citizens of the District 5 demand an in-depth, outside, independent review of the county commissioners’ approved plan. Is this too much to ask as a taxpaying citizen? It is truly amazing that our elected officials would require their populace to make this request through open media.
As we celebrate a great Fourth of July, let’s be mindful of the basic principle that is the foundation of our democracy; “For the people, by the People.”
Mardee and Chris Baxley
Friends of Philadelphus