Property battle intensifies between Mosaic and Desoto County

A property battle of sorts took center stage Wednesday in Desoto County. At issue are several thousand acres of land. Mosaic wants to mine phosphate, but the commission shot it down.

An ongoing battle between Mosaic and Desoto County neighbors continues. The county and Mosaic are holding a public mediation to allow qualifying Desoto County neighbors to rezone their property.

It is a topic that affects neighbors, like Sarah Hollenhrst, who lives in Desoto County.

“They’re digging up and destroying the watersheds,” Hollenhrst said. “The plants and the trees and everything that protect and filter the water that feeds into the river.”

For Clarke Doane, who lives near the Peace River, he worries an 14,000-acre mining site will decrease his property value.

“Who would want to buy a home that’s going to be toxic?” Doane said.

The mediation even drawing in neighbors from surrounding areas. Many said it is a topic that is bigger than Desoto County.

“Unbenounced to most residents Sarasota counties, Manatee counties and Charlotte counties a portion of our drinking water, the surface water component, is from the peace river,” said Jessika Armon, a Sarasota County resident.

Reps of Mosaic said the mediation is an opportunity to hit reset despite previous issues they said they are doing everything they can to protect the environment.

“We take very good care of the water,” said Jackie Barron of Mosaic. “We have outfalls as they mentioned, but those outfalls are strictly regulated and closely monitored and its as important to us as anyone monitoring those outfalls.”

But for the Desoto County neighbors, they fear for a big corporation presence and they will keep fighting.

“We as taxpayers not only in Desoto County but across the country, just gotta pick up the tag and it’s not fair,” said Tom Paffard, a DeSoto neighbor.

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
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