Pittsylvania Co., VA - Nearly 500 people gathered at Coles Hill Saturday for food, games and music. Many were there to show their support of uranium mining."This is great that they are now beginning to step forward, " said Virginia Uranium President and CEO Walter Coles.
Though many across the state are concerned about health and safety issues, Walter Coles says many of the attendees believe in the economic growth that may result from a uranium mine.
"People are beginning to recognize that jobs and economic development would be a great benefit, " Coles said.
No one stands behind that more than Lillian Gillespie, which is why she helped form the group People for Economic Prosperity.
"We want people to understand and hear that there is another side to it. That there is support for the mine, " Gillespie said.
Gillespie is the former Mayor of Hurt, a town that has been devastated by the loss of industry and local businesses. She says the mine could be just what they need to turn things around.
"It can be done safely and it will be done safely, and the Coles Hill project is all about jobs for Southside, " Gillespie said.
Now they say it will be up to legislators to decide if the time is right for uranium in Virginia.
"We hope it will have an impact with the Governor and he will begin to recognize that he's got to step forward as a leader and help Southside, and this is one way to do it, " Coles said.