12/21/04 — Residents oppose concrete plant

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Residents oppose concrete plant

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on December 21, 2004 2:00 PM

Citing concerns about traffic, dust and noise, two citizens urged the Goldsboro City Council on Monday to place stringent requirements on a proposed concrete plant.

S&W Ready Mix Co., based in Clinton, submitted a plan for a concrete plant on Central Heights Road earlier this month. The property was rezoned in 2000 from residential to industry, in spite of opposition from several property owners.

The 5.4-acre site is on the south side of Central Heights Road between the road and the railroad tracks.

City Attorney Tim Finan told the council, in a briefing before the meeting, that it couldn't deny the company the right to build the plant, but it could set strict, but reasonable, requirements for its development and operation.

S&W proposes to have an office, a dust collector, recycling and clean-out area, storage area, a mix and containment area and an inspection platform in the complex. The plant will have an eight-foot-tall concrete wall surrounding it, with openings every 20 feet to allow for drainage.

The state Transportation Department is also requiring that the company install a right turn lane into the property off of Central Heights Road.

The company wants permission to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Alex Economy Jr. said he realized the company had a right to develop the property, but he hoped the council would not allow the 24-hour operation.

Economy's father owns a mobile home park next to the property.

"People live next door, they need to sleep," Economy said.

He also said that there was no place on Central Heights Road for the cement trucks to pull over, and he was worried about increased traffic problems.

Economy said that cement plants created a lot of dust, so he asked that the company have wheel washers with drainage, so the trucks don't track water on the road.

"I know change is inevitable, but I hope we can maintain a sort of peace in the area," Economy said.

Robert Shepherd, a nearby resident, said that he didn't think a concrete plant was in keeping with other development in the area.

He said the area had a new apartment complex going up and two new shopping centers, and Eastern Wayne Middle School is nearby.

"There's already traffic congestion," Shepherd said. "This isn't the place for it."

Pete McDonald, a civil engineer working for S&W, said the proposed concrete plant was highly technical.

"This is not your run-of-the-mill plant," he said. "They recycle the water, have dust collectors. It's very clean."

McDonald said that the purpose of the wall was to keep the noise down.

Danny Bordeaux, a company representative, said the company would normally operate from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., but some jobs for the Air Force base and other companies required longer hours.

"We just need to have some emergency time to run nights or weekends," he said.

Bordeaux said that the noise from the concrete plant was mostly confined inside.

"We have a similar plant in Castle Hayne and we've had no complaints," he said. "The wall makes neighbors happy."

He also added that the company recycled "practically everything" and won second place in a national environmental contest.