Proposed Putnam mine would bring 35 jobs

A proposed mine in Putnam County would create 35 jobs and the company building it would make more than a $40 million investment.

Macon-based Reeves Construction Co. has been working with the Putnam County Development Authority for about a year on plans to mine construction aggregate, which includes sand, gravel and crushed stone, on about 300 acres at Twin Bridges and Dennis Station roads in south Putnam County.

Roddie Anne Blackwell, project manager of the authority, said she did a lot of research after Reeves approached her about the proposed mine.

“We are especially environmentally conscience in this community because of Lake Sinclair and Lake Oconee,” Blackwell said.

She visited a similar mine built about 50 years ago north of Nashville, Tenn., that’s next to a lake.

“There is very little dust and they monitor the vibrations and sound,” she said. While that mine was owned by a different company, Blackwell said she’s “satisfied with the research into (Reeves) that it would be an environmentally good neighbor. ... I feel real comfortable with them.”

A call to Reeves was not returned Monday but according to a news release, the company is ready to submit a formal request for rezoning the property from agricultural to industrial, but it first plans to have several meetings with area residents to address their concerns.

Blackwell said the economic impact of the mine should be felt for a long time.

“(Reeves) say there is about a 35-year supply of stone, so we are talking long term (impact) by the time you figure in the construction, cost of beginning the mine and sales tax revenue and property tax. This will be going from agricultural to mining, so that means the property tax will jump dramatically in value.”

Reeves was founded in 1955 in Americus and became part of France-based Colas Group in 1998. The company serves the northeast, central and southern markets of Georgia and is one of the leading heavy highway contractors in the state, according to the release.

To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.