Neighbors fighting plans for concrete plant

GRAY SUMMIT, Mo. - Some people living in Franklin County say they're not ready for a Ready Mix concrete plant. The proposed plant is facing protests from those who would live near it.

"We watch the deer in the backyard," said Ceil Pemberton, who cherishes the view from his back porch. Now he fears it will soon be ruined.

"Right above that tree right there, that's where those silos are all going to start coming up," said Pemberton.

He's talking about silos that will be 60 to 70 feet tall to hold cement if the Landvatter Ready Mix Concrete Plant gets a green light. The fear spreads throughout the neighborhood, fear of pollution, plummeting property values and dust.

"The dust is going to be very bad," said Gray Summit resident Mavis Huff. "I've worked in two quarries and the dust is bad."

Neighbors also share the concern of The Missouri Botanical Garden's Shaw Nature Reserve, 600 feet away from the site. They're afraid the sounds from birds and other wildlife will be drowned out by diesel trucks and equipment.

"It's going to be noisy and dusty and it doesn't seem like the right location," said Shaw Director John Behrer.

"I think it'd be perfect for our use," said Roger Landvatter, owner of Landvatter Ready Mix. He says ten acres of his land will remain undeveloped to block noise from and the view of the plant. And he contends plant equipment and government regulations control dust.

"We think that it'd be beneficial to us and everybody in Franklin County," he said.

But Pemberton and his neighbors will keep fighting, not just for their property values, but their way of life.

"My parents built this house. I've been here since I was 11-years-old," said Pemberton.

The Franklin County Planning and Zoning Commission will discuss the project Friday morning. A vote with the full county commission is expected to come later this month.


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