COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - The Collier County Beach Renourishment Project is causing more problems for Collier County leaders. Commissioners will take a vote Tuesday on changing when sand hauling trucks access the mine where they've been digging up sand for the project.
The main problem is that trucks have been coming in and out of Stewart Mining Industries in Immokalee around the clock, despite a schedule that limits when they can get sand from the mine.
According to the Collier County government, excavation is limited to Monday through Saturday, 6:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. as of 2003 when the county approved zoning for Stewart Mining. They did not specify separate haul times.
In July, the mine's president, Nick Stewart, asked county staff to allow 24/7 access for excavation, and hauling from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. County staff approved the changes without taking them to Collier County commissioners for a public hearing and a vote.
Stewart said the expansion was necessary, so the mine could keep up with demand for the beach renourishment project. There's still concern from Lee County residents and environmentalists, who are not happy with the trucks traveling along their roads to drop off sand in Collier.
More than 17,000 truckloads of sand still have yet to leave Stewart Mine to complete the project. The project is ahead of schedule, and officials say it could wrap up by the end of the year.
Trust WINK News for updates from Tuesday's commission meeting.