MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. - “I dreamt of retiring here with a beautiful house, maybe some miniature donkeys, and living a quiet peaceful fun life,” said Darby Jones.
Jones says all of that will have to stay a dream, at least for now.
“The recent events have caused me extreme fear that the water supply is now going to be polluted,” said Jones.
Jones lives in Myakka City. Home of Mosaics Wingate Creek Mine. She recently found out Mosaic has asked county commissioners to approve additional mining operations to the hundreds of acres of land they own just across the way.
“My property begins right here and Mosaics property begins right there across the street,” said Jones pointing about 70 feet away.
Mosaic has mined in the area for years but if approved, digging could happen too close for comfort for many living in the community. They have requested to rezone the nearly 3,600 acres of the Mosaic Wingate East mine from agriculture to extraction which would essentially allow phosphate mining.
Jones says she’s now looking to sell the land she once thought would carry her into her twighlight.
“They’re concerned about resale value or not being able to sell their property,” said Adam Miller. "They are worried about the environment being destroyed or damaged."
Miller is local real estate agent. He says he has 5 clients looking to uproot from their longtime homes over fears of environmental impacts, noise and odors. He adds selling the properties won’t come easy.
“I have a house right down the street on duette road, two people very interested and both walked away specifically because of Mosaic digging,” said Miller.
Mosaic says they’ve taken every measure to prevent impacts to the community as well as guaranteeing the preservation of the headwaters of the Myakka river. The river is a major waterway for recreation and wildlife.
But at this point Jones isn’t convinced and hopes commissioners hear her pleas by voting no on the expansion.
“I absolutely regret purchasing and thats the part commissioners and politicians need to realize,” said Jones.
Commissioner are expected to vote on the request January 26, 2017.