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Will commissioners keep their campaign pledges?

Dear Editor:

In October 2012 I called every Baker County commission candidate  to ask two direct questions. The first: “How do you feel about sand mining in Baker County?” The second: “If elected, how will you vote on the matter?”

Every candidate said he was against sand mining in Baker County.  They all answered the second question with a resounding “No.”

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Updated: LPA okays Oldcastle mine in 3-1 vote

Dennis McClelland (right) and his attorney Hugh Fish speak about the mine's water supply.

Dennis McClelland (right) and his attorney Hugh Fish speak about the mine’s water supply.

A  year ago opposition to Oldcastle Southern Group’s sand mining plans in southeastern Baker County was so strong that the company wisely decided to withdraw its request for county approval while continuing to seek state environmental permits.

What a difference a year makes.

After a public hearing the evening of June 27, during which a few residents spoke against new mining operations, the county’s Land Planning Agency voted 3-1 to recommend approval of Oldcastle’s new application for a special zoning exception to permit mining.

If the county commission endorses the proposal after another public hearing on July 16 at 6 pm, Oldcastle can proceed with its plans to mine coarse sands using a hydraulic dredging technique similar to that used by DuPont to extract minerals from the same ground.

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LPA recommends approval for sand mining

The Land Planning Agency voted 3-1 the evening of June 27 to recommend approval for Oldcastle Southern Group’s special exception application for mining course sand from southeastern Baker County.

The recommendation goes to the Baker County Commission, which will consider the application on July 16.

The LPA also approved rezoning and an exemption to the county’s height limitation for a zip line park on S. SR 121 across from the state hospital.

See next week’s edition for complete coverage.

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