BAY COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) – Several Southport residents are opposing a new industrial development proposed for their neighborhood.
They voiced their concerns at Tuesday’s town hall meeting at the Southport community center.
The cement company called SRM wants to build three cement holding silos. These storage facilities would be 167-feet tall. And that is the kind of landmark neighbors said they do not want to see.
“We hear the beep beeps of the trucks as they back up,” resident Mercedes Franklin said.
“Heavy equipment noises waking us up at night,” another resident David Eubanks said. “We hear the windows rattling and this is at 2 or 3 a.m.”
That is just a shortlist of annoyances from the industrial area beside Mackenzie boat ramp along Fanning Bayou. Southport is one of the only areas in Bay County that is zoned industrial but surrounded by residential communities.
Hollingshead Cement LLC out of Nashville owns this land. Their local branch, SRM plans to build three 167 foot tall cement terminals on their property.
“We are hoping to put a halt to them,” Franklin said. “It’s not that we don’t want a cement plant. I’m not saying we don’t need a cement plant. But we need it in a different place.”
Residents took their concerns to Bay County Commissioners in December. Since then, the plans have not moved very far.
“The engineer of record resigned and so the applicant is waiting to go forward with a new engineer of record and before that happens it’s at a standstill,” Moore said.
But residents are worried about their safety and pollution to the bayous. They want Hollingshead Cement company to rethink its plans.
Once the county receives the development plans, residents can challenge them before it goes to county commissioners.
“There really isn’t anything we can do to stop it without being provided information specifically that would give us a justified reason to be able to not go forward with it,” Moore said. “It’s a staff-level decision.”
There was no representative from SRM at the meeting Tuesday. News 13 tried to contact the company out of Nashville as well and received no comment at this time.