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Our thanks to Sarah Hollenhorst for the following update on activity in DeSoto County.

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Mosaic and DeSoto agree to extension on special master selection

Conn on Mosaic: ‘What’s done is done, time to move forward’

By DANIEL SUTPHIN

STAFF WRITER

DeSoto County and Mosaic will extend the selection process for a special magistrate until December. “We’re (still) in the beginning steps,” Commissioner Elton Langford told the Arcadian after Tuesday’s decision. “We don’t know anything new. We don’t know who’s on the list (of magistrates).”

The DeSoto Board of County Commissioners in August accepted Mosaic’s request to initiate the dispute resolution process. That followed the commission’s denial in July of the company’s bid to rezone 14,050 acres of DeSoto farmland to industrial phosphate mining. Mosaic under a state statute asked for third-party intervention before moving on to legal action.

“We ought to be able to continue informal discussions and perhaps avoid the expense and the time of that dispute resolution process that they have requested, and they agreed with that,” DeSoto County Attorney Donald Conn said during comments on Tuesday.

Conn said another option to resolving the dispute is Mosaic submitting new rezoning applications for the board’s consideration. But there’s a one-year moratorium on that move.

“But after that one year, they could come back with a rezoning application,” he said.

Either way, results of those informal conversations between DeSoto and Mosaic would need final approval from county commissioners.

“I tried to emphasize to them (Mosaic),” he said, “that it was the board’s position that we are not going to resolve this by going backward, even at the recommendation of the special magistrate.”

The DeSoto BOCC meets on second and fourth Tuesdays.

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