Pleasant Ridge residents weigh in on KY strip mine - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

KY strip mine comes to a tie

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OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) -

There were mixed emotions Friday morning after Thursday's strip mine meeting in Owensboro ended in a 5-5 tie.

The planning commission heard testimonies from residents that live in the Pleasant Ridge area about why they don't want land rezoned so it can be strip mined.

Thursday's meeting lasted almost eight hours with at least 300 people in attendance.

Residents living near the proposed strip mine have multiple reasons why they think mining shouldn't even be an option.

"How will I and my neighbors with breathing disorders continue to be productive members of society if we become too sick to work because of the strip mine," says Carla Williams.

This is the third time the Pleasant Ridge area's been brought up for strip mining.

"In 1993, we had a much lower residential population and the rezoning was voted down because of the 105 residents who would be directly affected. Today over 360 residents will be directly affected," said concerned resident Sherry Stringer.

Western Kentucky minerals, the coal company wanting to strip mine the land, say now's the time to mine with safer equipment available now than in the past, and more coal. Safety concerns also made the list why residents don't want mining.

"On July 16th, 2007 in Kentucky, as a result of a surface mine blast fly, rock flew 1700 feet. A company mechanic was struck and killed, " noted resident Curtis Whistle.

"We first of all monitor with seismographic equipment at the nearest uncontrolled structure," said Western Kentucky Minerals blaster Marty Vincent.

Since there is a tie now, the commission will meet again in 30 days. They have a few options now.

They can decide to forward the application to fiscal court without a vote, or the commission can vote, but if it's another tie, fiscal court will handle the application.

The commission also has the option of voting in favor of putting the application down and it dies.

Most residents say they are disappointed in the tie. 

Copyright 2012 WFIE. All rights reserved.

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