A chemical plant proposed for the city of Wilson is drawing concerns from the people in its surrounding neighborhood. The Texas-based company Pencco wants to build the plant to manufacture iron sulfates to be used as water treatment chemicals. Brian Wodetzki of Pencco says the plant will be safe. He says the company is doing its best to explain the process to concerned citizens in the neighborhood by holding public meetings with them.
Brian Wodetzki: "What it really boils down to is they don't want that plant in their backyard. Even after they understand everything about it, they just don't want it there."
Wilson City Councilman Bill Pitt is worried about it. He says the people in the neighborhood are starting to feel like the city isn't listening to them.
Bill Pitt: "I think the city should be more assuring to them that they are going to try to keep their community safe and look for companies to come in here that will be acceptable to the neighborhood. This is an old neighborhood. The people are saying 'we don't have no place to go and why would you come in our final days and put something like that, place fear in us that we have to live with for the rest of our days.'"
Wodetzki says the city already looked into the company and is in favor of the plant. He adds the city will largely be able to dictate what Pencco can and can't do there. He says another fear, about odor from the plant, is unwarranted.
Wodetzki: "We will have no smells coming off of our process. It's a self-contained process. It's not going to happen. We will have steam coming off of the process, but there will not be any smells coming off. It's a well-proven technology. We've been doing it for many years."
Pitt says the residents aren't convinced. He says another big concern is the traffic in the area.
Pitt: "50 to 60 trucks. Big large trucks that will be hauling this type of material in the neighborhood that is adjacent... I mean, just borderline of a large park or playground in the middle of the city."
Wodetzki says the 50 trucks are far fewer than the asphalt plant that was there previously. Wilson's City Council could vote to approve or deny the plant on August 18th.