City Commissioner Susan Persis: Not here – Belvedere!

Fuel farm proposal has 'all the makings of disaster waiting to happen,' writes City Commissioner Susan Persis.

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  • | 5:00 p.m. September 15, 2023
  • Ormond Beach Observer
  • Opinion
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Residents in Ormond Beach and the surrounding areas are correct to be concerned and frightened by the potential of Belvedere Terminals building a large fuel farm at our city’s border. While governmental agencies should carefully choose their legal battles, I am proud our city commission has directed the city attorney to use all necessary resources to formally object to the location of this massive fuel distribution center.

From a safety perspective, this has all the makings of disaster waiting to happen. The area where the fuel farm is proposed to be located is near large residential communities, Bear Creek Village and Ormond Lakes. Thousands of children are in proximity daily at Pine Trail Elementary School and at the Ormond Beach Sports Complex. The very busy Ormond Beach Municipal Airport is nearby, as are large businesses including the Security First Insurance headquarters, S.R. Perrott, a beverage wholesaler, and Halifax Paving.

Regarding traffic, the county will require a comprehensive traffic analysis. According to the initial reports, the traffic generated by the fuel distribution terminal is estimated to be seven trucks an hour in a 24-hour cycle, for an average of 160 trucks per day, every day. These trucks will be coming and going through the I-95 interchange on U.S. Highway 1. This interchange is the site where many accidents a year already occur.

Clearly, the applicant has many hurdles to climb before this project can obtain final approval. I applaud the Volusia County School Board for announcing its opposition to the project’s location. The Volusia County Council and the Ormond City Commission have directed their county manager and city manager respectively, as well as their legal team to coordinate their efforts and fight this every step of the way.

Finally, I wish to commend the residents who have attended city and county meetings and made thoughtful suggestions to the elected bodies and the municipal staff members. We are all working together, and our collective message is clear: Not here – Belvedere!

Susan S. Persis

Ormond Beach City Commission, Zone 3


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