BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — The Bay County Commission heard both sides of the Southport silo controversy at a nearly seven hour meeting on Tuesday.
Southport residents are concerned about Hollingshead Materials’ expansion for a number of reasons from traffic to environmental impacts to overall safety.
One of the biggest complaints is the impediment of the McKenzie Boat Ramp.
“No way you guys should impede that boat ramp,” said County Commissioner, Griff Griffitts. “Not for five minutes, not for five seconds. I would not ever agree to that.”
Bay County Commissioners are also concerned about the height of the silos — coming in at 167 feet.
“My gosh that’s gonna be – you may as well put welcome to Bay County on it because everybody and their brother is going to see it,” said Bay County Commissioner, Robert Carroll. “We’ll advertise for the TDC on it. I’m not being ugly – you will notice it.”
County Commissioners are in a tough spot. Hollingshead Materials LLC does have the proper zoning for its development order and they have rights as private property owners.
However, commissioners also want to help residents.
“As I have said many times when we sit up here, it’s not just your issue that we have to overlay,” said Commissioner Doug Moore. “We have to look at that over how is that affecting every part where industrial and residential are touching and it makes for an entertaining balancing act sometimes.”
Griffitts has his own solution to the problem.
“If Bay County could buy the mill property, we could stick ya’ll at the mill property and get rid of this,” Griffitts said.
Hollingshead company attorney, Lisa Minshew, said they’re willing to work with the county on those concerns.
The commission voted to table the discussion for another two weeks. They are looking into whether or not an error was made when issuing the development order to Hollingshead Materials.