Tuesday, November 10, 2020
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The Villages

Residents of Village of Fenney complain about blasting at limestone quarry

Blasting at a nearby limestone quarry apparently is shaking houses in the Village of Fenney, along County Road 468 about four miles south of State Road 44.

Residents described the shaking and rattling of their homes recently on a Fenney Facebook page. A portion of that page later was taken down, according to one resident.

The blasting is by the 101-year-old Dixie Lime and Stone Co., 3238 E. County Road 470, which operated decades before the first Fenney home was built. The quarry is a little over two miles from the Village of Fenney.

According to an August 2012 letter sent to the Sumter County Board of Commissioners, the company said it planned to blast five times a month between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays, as permitted by Florida law. General Manager William Houghton also said in the letter that the company had completed renewal of its 10-year permit.

“My whole house shook including items hanging on the wall,” one resident wrote on Facebook. “Second time, but this one was much worse than the first.”

Another resident reported glasses clinking in the cupboard.

Explosives are used to dislodge limestone and sand, which is used for road building and other construction projects.

The Sumterville quarry provides crushed limestone for road building and calcium carbonate for coal-burning power plants. It is owned by Bedrock Resources of Ocala, which operates four other quarries.

Companies need a permit from the State Fire Marshal to use explosives in mining operations and blasting must be monitored by a seismologist.

Blasting complaints can be made to the State Fire Marshal, which can impose fines or permit suspension or revocation for violations.

In South Florida, some Dade and Broward county residents are petitioning Gov. Rick Scott to stop quarry blasting at the White Rock Quarry near Miramar. Residents say the blasts have cracked foundations, broken light bulbs and knocked pictures off the wall.

The Florida legislature also has considered a bill to make it easier for the state to investigate damage and pay claims from blasting.

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