Coal Plant Site Finalized in Taylor County

Many questions still remain about the north Florida power project, such as, will the city of Tallahassee be a partner in the plant.

In Tallahassee and in Taylor County, there are very mixed reviews. There are some who want it because it will create more jobs, but there are other who don't want the plant, saying health is more important than economic development.

The official announcement that many have been dreading came on Wednesday morning, in front of Tallahassee's city hall, a more than $1 billion coal power plant will be built in Taylor County.

Daryl Gunter, chair, Taylor County Commission, said, "It's officially coming to Taylor County, once it clears EPA, it will be coming here."

The project representative says the 3,200 acre plant will be built about four miles southeast of the city of Perry, near the Buckeye Paper Mill.

A portion of the land was bought from Buckeye, and the rest from the Foley Timber and Land Company.

The Taylor County Commission chairman says, he couldn't be more pleased.

Diane Whitfield has been using her own money to fight the coal plant and educate her community. She says she feels like David trying to fight goliath.

Diane Whitfield, opposes coal plant, but now that the only thing the coal plant needs is environmental approval, Whitfield says she feels like she doesn't even have one rock to fight with.

The project representative says it should take about two years for the permitting process, then ground breaking would be in 2008, and operations would start in 2012.

Tallahassee voters will decide whether the city is a partner in the project with a mail in ballot that voters will see in late October.


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