OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. -- They came with signs, filling the Desoto County Board of Supervisors meeting.
Olive Branch residents had fought and won this battle before, stopping Standard Construction from building a gravel mining operation near their homes.
Standard appealed and was back showing the mine would help Desoto County.
“It makes the product that the county needs locally available and less expensive as a result of that. These are materials that are critical to construction that fuels the growth in Desoto County, that we have been experiencing for the last couple of years,” said Billy Myers, an attorney for Standard Construction.
Residents had their own studies showing the gravel mine would hurt property value, create noise and hamper traffic.
“I raised my family here, and I chose this area because it feels safe. I didn’t want to live near a congested traffic area with gravel trucks beeping constantly and the asphalt smell of industry,” said Jeannie Melton of Olive Branch.
“The numbers don’t lie. In the last several minutes I think I have been able to show you the overwhelming and undeniable residential nature of our area compared to existing mines. Therefore, you must deny this appeal,” said Sara King of Olive Branch.
The Board listened.
“The county will not benefit from the proposed use as presented. I make a motion to deny the application for gravel mining conditional use as presented,” motioned one board member.
The Board unanimously voted to deny the gravel mine. The audience erupted in applause.
“It’s rare we see the government listen to the people,” said resident Rick Rivers.
“I think it went great, as it should have. We shouldn’t have had to come to this,” said resident Frank Woolsey.
“The Board of Supervisors made the right decision today. The facts were there. We are just, so happy they upheld the Board’s position,” said King.
Standard Construction declined to talk with us after the vote.
They haven’t said if they will continue to pursue a gravel mine in Olive Branch.