Danville,VA- Virginia Uranium recently put up a billboard on Route 29 welcoming drivers to Pittsylvania County, and it's raising a few eyebrows.
It names Pittsylvania County as "the future home of the safest uranium mine in the world."
Not everyone sees this billboard being welcoming, some say the billboard is quite presumptuous, since there is still a state ban on uranium mining.
But Virginia Uranium said all they're trying to do is reassure the public that safety is their top priority should the ban be lifted.
Driving down Route 29, right at White Oak Mountain, drivers now have a new sign welcoming them to Pittsylvania County. But it's a sign that's doing much more than just welcoming drivers.
"We just really wanted to have a public reminder of the commitment made to these communities," said Patrick Wales, Virginia Uranium Inc. Project Manager.
Virginia Uranium says that reminder is that they promise to operate a safe uranium mining mill, if the moratorium is lifted.
"If we take the best measurement practices that are being used in Australia, in Canada and in the United States and apply them right here, we're very confident that we're going to build the safest uranium mine in the world and that's something that's very important and probably our most important commitment to this community," said Wales.
But it's the way the message is worded that has some people shocked. It calls Pittsylvania County the future home of uranium mining. Some say the message is way too early.
"Yeah, it's somewhat presumptuous," said James Snead, Chairperson for Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors," It's a situation that is telling people you're going up down the road on 29 that we have a uranium mining picture in the future."
"It's bogus," said Sharon Wright, a Chatham resident. "They're want to trick people into voting for the uranium mining."
But others say the billboard is just plain old advertising.
"If you were in advertising, you would certainly say that the best thing to do is put a positive spin on things, put a positive foot forward about your particular business or plan that you have on how to do things, and that's exactly what they're doing," said James McDole, a Chatham resident.
Virginia Uranium says in the near future, they hope to also use different types of media to get across their message that safety is their top priority.