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Cathy Dyson writes about King George County. You can email her at

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More on Belle Grove

There’s not room in the newspaper to list all the interesting comments made during meetings. Here are a couple from the Board of Supervisors’ public hearing on the proposal to allow sand and gravel mining at Belle Grove. That’s the birthplace of President James Madison, and is off U.S. 301, across the Rappahannock River from Port Royal.

Here’s what a few of your neighbors said about mining at Belle Grove:

TED HAENLEIN: The estate is the first thing drivers see when they cross the 301 bridge into the county. Currently, there’s a sign welcoming them to King George and the Northern Neck.

“Are we going to add underneath it—where we dug up James Madison’s home?”

JOHN MITCHELL thought the figured quoted in our paper, about the amount of taxes paid by local mines had to be a typo. According to the Commission of the Revenue, the four mining operations in King George paid $3,179 in taxes in 2008. “Hell, I pay more than that,” Mitchell said.

JAMES NASH used the opportunity to bash the supervisors on other decisions.

“It’s bothered me for some time, it seems as though the boards we get elected can’t seem to manage very well. I certainly hope you listen to these people and myself and start changing your ways.”

ELENA ELLIS is concerned about the quality of life in King George, now and later. “Since the 1990s, we’ve all watched the mines creep down Route 3, pit by pit. We need to end this depletion of our natural water system.”

ENOS RICHARDSON reminded the supervisors that only 44 counties in the United States have the distinction of being the birthplace of a president.

  “Not only is it one of them, but it’s one of our most famous ones,” he said.

JEAN HUDSON presented the supervisors a petition, asking them to deny the request. It was  signed by 102 residents of Hopyard Farm.

JOHN WILLHIDE did the same for his 33 neighbors in Berry Plaines.