Second Sand Mine Draws Concerns

PITT COUNTY - Pitt County Board of Commissioners approve the permit for a second sand mine location in Belvoir off NC 222.

American Materials Co. President Tim Bizzell said the reserves at the current location just across the street off Old Tar Road have been exhausted, and another site is needed.

Though local residents presented concerns at recent public input meetings, the permit passed 7 to 2.

Resident Sam Dawson said not only will the sand mine be an eye sore that diminishes his property value, but it is also a safety hazard to his children.

"One of the attractions to the neighbors that are here is that they've got open space in their yards to play, but to put something next door that's going to be a hazardous attraction is scary," Dawson said. "I can definitely see children wanting to get into that lake and pray to God they don't."

A lake is formed after the mining is complete, and fish and natural vegetation will fill the area. Resident Myra Pinner said the end result of the pond is what attracted her to move in directly next door to the company.

"We live in a sand mine that right now may not be the most beautiful thing to other people, but it's going to be beautiful," Pinner said.

The company is going through the process of permit application from the state level and anticipates construction will begin in another month.

Bizzell said he will continue to work with the community to prove the mine does not pose a threat to the community.

"If the members of this (community) would be willing to work with us, we'll show them at that site that they will do it the right way," Bizzell said.

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