Monday, October 5, 2009

Ain't this a Doozie

Sept 23rd, 2009
Ain’t this a Doozie?
I don’t often use the Leader Courier as a source for a news item because they are rather biased about what they print, but last week was a doozie! Let me set the scene here. L.G. Everist was applying for a conditional use permit with the city of North Sioux City to expand their gravel dump in North Sioux. Everist vice president Todd Schuver said that they have outgrown their Sioux City Plant and wanted to expand to North Sioux. They wanted a conditional use permit to unload rock and gravel by train and truck on the land they lease from BNSF railroad. After much discussion, the city council voted 9-0 to deny a permit for L.G. Everist to expand their rock facility. That wouldn’t be so bad, except for the people that voiced their opinions at the meeting and what it was that was said. When I read this, I almost dropped my teeth. Let me give you a few quotes. These are really good.
Schuver said that they want to be part of the community and think they will provide a very viable and low-cost product to the community. (Where have you heard that before?)
People talked about the hazards of dust, noise and smell from all the truck traffic and that many of them lived only 100 feet from the site. (Déjà vu all over again)
Many people were concerned about whether or not Hwy 105 could stand the wear and tear of so much truck traffic, (Huh?) and whether or not businesses would be attracted to Flynn Business Park with such disruption next to it. (My God!)
Schuver said that any concrete plant would have to obtain an air permit and be subject to certain air quality levels. (You’re kidding me right?)
One of the members in the audience asked “If Sioux City doesn’t want you, why would we?” (Right On.)
Mayor Don Fuxa and the city council sent a letter to the P&Z stating their objections due to the large number of letters they received objecting to the expansion. Their letters stated objections because of increased air pollution, excessive noise, and obnoxious odors. (Oh, this is good)
I see that the people of Save Union County taught these people well. They and L.G. Everist used our book. Didn’t we use these same objections both with the P&Z and the county commissioners? Obviously we weren’t as successful as they were, but it sure looks like a case of NIMBY if you ask me. They voted overwhelmingly for Hyperion but when it crops up in their own back yard it ain’t gonna happen folks.
What do you think is the first industry that would locate to the HEC if Hyperion were to actually start to build a refinery? It would be a concrete and gravel dump only 100 times larger. NSC was going to be a few acres, and the HEC a few hundred. The funny thing here is that it would be in a planned development and we don’t have squat to say about it. Hyperion wrote in their application to the county that they would have total control for any and all building inside the boundary of the HEC. And people voted for this! (I seem to be using a lot of these today don’t I ? !!!!!) and all this time I thought our voices were falling on deaf ears.( WOW did we get a surprise or what)
It just blows my mind that people can be so two faced. We were accused of being whiners and malcontents because we were standing in the way of economic progress. I’ve got their economic progress for you right here. Are these people so naive as to think that when Hyperion comes in there won’t be truck traffic and rail traffic up the wazoo! There will be trains and trucks unloading all day every day. They won’t be able to keep up. You can bet that L.G. Everist will appeal this decision. The rock and gravel dump have been there a long time and they want to expand “Just a little bit.” (Oh but the Hyperion issue is different. Don’t look Ethel)
Do you realize just how big this will be? Just look at the size of the portable concrete facilities that are being put up on the Interstate for rebuilding a dinky 26 miles of road. This new facility would look like Mt. Everist (little play on words there folks) 3000 acres of concrete and asphalt. Concrete buildings, Concrete this and Concrete that. And when it rains, North Sioux City had better hold onto its hat, because it is going to flood like no tomorrow. Just to give you an idea of 14000 acre feet of water, take 3000 acres and fill it 36 feet high. Now that my friend is a whole hell of a lot of water. They say that sh*t flows downhill, well when this behemoth comes in we are going to put it to the test. (I like that word behemoth don’t you?) Remember back in July when we got 18 inches of rain during the month. Imagine what this will do to the Brule and the Big Sioux?
You know there is an old saying that what goes around, comes around. Someday NSC is going to want our help about an issue that is vital to their survival. My answer to that is “UP YOUR NOSE.” Not in my backyard, I could care less. Sorry!


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