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Concrete plant owners to hold community meeting

Residents worry about health, environment impacts of proposed business
By: Jenifer Gee Journal Staff Writer
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The owners of a proposed concrete plant in the Ophir area are planning a community update meeting to provide more information to concerned residents. James O’Malley, consultant for Livingston’s Concrete Service, said the meeting will include a more “visual and graphic” presentation of the proposed concrete batch plant for a five-acre space on the corner of Ophir and Geraldson roads in Auburn. The meeting is not sponsored by the county, O’Malley said. “The true intent is to describe the project in detail with factual data,” O’Malley said. O’Malley said the company is aware of fliers and petitions that have circulated among some neighbors and they would like to address those concerns. Auburn resident Joe Leonard is among those who are worried about the health and visual impacts of a concrete batch plant in their neighborhood. Leonard said he can see the site of the proposed plant from his backyard deck. “We have a community of fine homes and we don’t need that kind of trash,” Leonard said. “It gives nothing to the community and subtracts a whole lot.” However, project leaders estimate the plant will create 13 to 20 jobs in the community and bring in about $500,000 in sales tax revenue a year. O’Malley said he hopes the meeting will address concerns including noise, traffic and visual impact as well as fear of the plant negatively impacting ground water in the area. “All of the impacts that are of concern are mitigated,” O’Malley said. O’Malley said an environmental impact report addresses water concerns. He said the operation would use “less than a third of the daily availability.” Traffic would increase by about 1.3 percent on Ophir Road. That traffic would mostly be concrete trucks, he said. He added that the project “conforms fully to the existing general plan land use designations” for the area. Leonard said he hasn’t decided yet whether he’ll go to the company’s meeting. He said he has read the environmental impact report for the project and thinks project leaders are minimizing the effects the plant will have on water, pollution, traffic and more in the area “They want to minimize the water aspect and the pollution aspect and the traffic aspect,” Leonard said. “It’s almost laughable when they’re saying this road was built to handle this kind of abuse and there’s no way it is.” The community meeting will start at 6 p.m. Aug. 25 at the Auburn Veterans Hall on 100 East St. in Auburn. Jenifer Gee can be reached at jeniferg@goldcountrymedia.com.