Contractor defends proposed peat mine in Lake County



LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - The contractor behind a proposed peat mine in Lake County is defending the plan that residents are fighting.

Residents said the proposed mine on 1,000 acres near Grand Island, known as Goose Prairie, would produce too much noise, dust and truck traffic.

The contractor said residents have nothing to worry about and it’s a clean business.

Cheri Anderson leads a group of neighbors from the 400-home Wedgewood community, who believe they’re in for a dust bowl.

“It’s going to reduce our home values,” she said.

The contractor for C&C Peat Company, Steve Cook, insists it’s a clean process with solid material.

Cook said although the site is 1,000 acres, just 300 will be mined, 20 acres at a time.

“The peat is used by the environmental horticulture industry, which is one of the largest agricultural industries in the state. It provided a tremendous number of jobs,” Cook said.

The Lake County Commission will vote on the plan next month.

Cook said the mining wouldn’t start until next year.