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TAVARES, FL-A battle between residents and one of the country’s largest building building products suppliers that began five years ago, is ending in victory for both sides.

The 30-year-old Central Florida division of Tarmac/Titan America Inc., based in Norfolk, VA, is being allowed to expand its 977-acre tract on Center Lake to a nearby 240-acre field near Hartwood Marsh Road where excavations can continue for another 10 years. Sand is a key material used in the manufacture of concrete.

Residents in Clermont, FL at the southern end of Lake County, which is enjoying a commercial boom, are satisfied the agreement worked out by Lake County commissioners will direct the sand mine company to buy its highly treated wastewater from Orlando’s Conserve II project without depleting the local source of fresh drinking water. The sand mine pumps 5.6 million gallons of water daily from the fragile underground Florida Aquifier for its round-the-clock excavation process.

That heavy water usage was the residents’ sore point five years ago and remained so until this week when the county negotiated a compromise.

“The deal is worth millions to Tarmac/Titan but it is worth far more to the residents’ peace of mind,” a resident from the Kings Ridge community in Clermont tells GlobeSt.com on condition of anonymity.

Besides agreeing to buy its water from Orlando’s Conserve II project, Tarmac/Titan will add 150 feet to the 100-foot buffer between the sand pit and nearby homes. The new buffer will comprise a 12-foot high berm and six-foot-high fence.

The new buffer also reduces the amount of sand the company can dig up, a tradeoff Tarmac/Titan agreed to. The sand mine has another 18 months of life left, Tarmac/Titan officials told Lake County commissioners.

Besides the water-usage issue, residents had complained for years of the ongoing high level of noise from the 24-hour plant. The buffers will subdue most of that noise, residents were told at the county commission public hearing.

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