Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Welcome to my blog!!

Welcome to my  Blog!  I started this blog so that I can learn how to use it so that I will be able to maintain the Save Castalian Springs blog. This is my first attempt to use a blog so will be interesting.
I would like to keep a journal of what my life is from day to day. We are retired so some days there won't be anything to write.
The last month and a half have been dedicated to Save Castalian Springs. A group organized to fight Hoover, Inc. from putting a rock quarry, 2 asphalt plants, 2 concrete plants, and a rock crusher on the 350+ acres directly across Corum Hill Road from us.
There are so many reasons that a quarry would not be good in our community:
--Castalian Springs is a large historical area, with much of early Tennessee being here. We have many historical buildings which would be damaged by the blasting, etc.
--Loss of property value
--Health issues from dust, dirt, noise
--Foundation problems from blasting
--Water issues - contamination of wells, streams, lake
--Disturbing sludge which had been previously dumped on the property.
--Wildlife endangerment
--Permanent damage to natural beauty of our area.
--Traffic issues
--Loss of tourism for Castalian Springs, Gallatin, Sumner County, and middle Tennessee.

A core group of people consisting of Tom and Betty Neal, John and Allyson Simon and us, Lon and Carol Luce started informing neighbors, investigating all the issues at the county level, and enlisting the services of attorneys David Amonette and Kevin Williams. Kevin Williams is also a resident of Castalian Springs. Other attorneys that contributed were Karen Neal, Scott Haynes and Louis Oliver.
We were assisted by some consultants that gave us guidance in how to proceed with first the "town hall" meeting that was called by Hoover and their attorney, Tom White on June 30, 2011 and then the hearing before the Zoning Board of Appeals. Our organizational/information gathering meeting was on June 17, 2011 downtown Gallatin.  An impromptu community meeting was on June 23 with a good response. The main purpose was to get help from the community to get the word out about the meeting on June 30 called by Tom White. The June 30 meeting was attended by about 300 people. Tom White provided a slide presentation about how beneficial the quarry would be for the community and county, mostly financial and jobs. After their presentation, the community was allowed to ask questions - some of which were passed out ahead of time and some were spontaneous.
Two weeks later, on July 14, 2011 a hearing was held before the Zoning Board of Appeal to act on the application for a conditional use permit by Hoover to put in a rock quarry, 2 asphalt plants, 2 concrete plants, and a rock crusher. Hoover was given 30 minutes to present their position, our attorneys had 30 minutes  to present our opposition and then the audience was to be allowed 30 minutes to present their statements. Two minutes were allowed per person. A few selected speakers  gave their statements and then others requesting and signing in were allowed to speak. Both sides were allowed closing statements. The board was then allowed to ask questions and then after 15 minutes came to a decision.  DENIED! It is expected that Hoover will seek an appeal through the court system. At that time the county will defend their board's decision with input from our attorneys.
We had 400 NO  QUARRY signs donated which were distributed throughout the community. Almost 400 t-shirts were sold as a fund raiser for legal fees and expenses. Petitions were signed by people all over the county. Roughly 1000+ signatures were obtained.
A Facebook group page, KEEP CASTALIAN SPRINGS BEAUTIFUL, was started by Shannon Wix.
A blog - Save Castalian Springs - was started. News paper articles, letters to the editors, tv coverage are posted on the blog.
An account - Save Castalian Springs- was set up at Green Bank, Gallatin, TN. for the funds.
There are so many people that helped make all this possible. Each one had their own gift or talent to contribute. This totally has been a "group effort". We will continue fighting for our peace and serenity in Castalian Springs.

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