Jefferson County Commission approves strip mining expansion

      Jefferson County Commissioners voted to expand a strip mining operation in the Gardendale community along Sardis Rd.

      The vote was a close call with George Bowman and Jimmie Stephens voting "No".

      "When you put off dynamite and it shakes your house and it puts cracks in your walls, you've infringed upon their right for a quiet and peaceful life," says Stephens.

      But David Carrington, Sandra Little Brown and Joe Knight voted to keep it under new guidelines, citing the economic development.

      Knight says, "It's a tough situation but Jefferson County was build on mining." Brown says, "I can't vote against jobs and economic development; however I do sympathize with the blasting."

      More than a dozen residents took their complaints to commissioners before the 3-2 vote. One by one, they voiced their opposition to continuing the work. The common complaint from residents were cracks inside their homes and loud noises.