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Steel plant proposes location, some in Ucon cry foul

A large steel fabrication company has plans to build a nearly 100,000-square-foot plan in Ucon.

Thursday, representatives from Cives Steel Company held an open house at the proposed site for the plant.

Gaylan Williams, a local farmer who owns the land, is currently working on a deal with Cives.

Company representatives answered questions from locals and explained the potential for dozens of new jobs in the first phase of the plant, with a possible 100 new positions when all is complete.

A local group of property owners and community members are just as thrilled as everyone else about the jobs and the economic stimulus but they said the location is not OK.

“We lived in a trailer to begin with and then we built our house,” said Brad Streeper, local resident. “That was about 22 years ago when we built our house.”

Streeper loves his land. Now, there’s a chance he and his wife, Stefanie, are getting a big new neighbor.

“This doesn’t seem right or fair that this is happening here,” said Streeper.

Streeper came to the open house hosted by Cives. He can spot the house from his yard next door. He wasn’t there to show support, but to gain it for his movement to block construction of the plant Cives representatives said will total about 92,000-square-feet.

“We’re on 28 acres and we will use a lot of that 28 acres for the plant,” said Tom Farr, Cives Steel Company representative.

Farr said he’s heard some of the concerns, even some from community members about pant emissions.

“All emissions from the site are very few and all within EPA standards,” said Farr.

Streeper isn’t convinced. He said he’s done his homework.

“They claim they’re ventilated and they’re filtered, but there’s emissions coming out of almost every one of their facilities,” said Streeper.

Streeper also said on top of that, the land at the plant’s proposed site isn’t even zoned for that kind of building.

Far said the area will have to be re-zoned for the plant and city utilities will have to be annexed.

The City of Ucon will host a public hearing about the Cives project on Thursday night at 7 p.m. at the Ucon City Building.

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