HERCULANEUM, Mo. — The petition against a proposed Love’s truck stop surpassed its goal of 1,000 signatures and keeps growing.
Residents in the Providence Neighborhood say the petition was only the beginning, on Sunday they organized some volunteers and are even floating the idea of raising money for legal help to fight the truck stop.
“We need to meet with Love’s and convince them that this is a very bad idea, for this particular location. There are other locations better suited and closer to this port that's coming in. But that big piece of land, I guess, looked pretty good,” resident Edward Heaslip said.
Herculaneum Ward 3 Alderman Edwin Edwards Jr. said right now the city is waiting on more information from Love’s and from MODOT regarding changes on I-55 and hasn’t decided if he will support it or not. The truck stop’s proposed location is in Ward 3.
Ward 2 Alderman Norm Seithel said in a statement he’s against the truck stop itself.
Residents said the area is already home to two larger gas stations.
“Years ago they fought to be put in there, they will go out, mark my words, they'll go out of business lickety-split the moment the Love’s opens its doors. We don't have the population to support two truck stops because QT is across the street, that's a truck stop,” Heaslip said.
Just last week a truck got stuck at the main entrance to their neighborhood.
Israel Clayman is a truck driver and resident who says he knows firsthand that many truck drivers are not trained to navigate residential streets, nor are they big enough.
“It's a training thing that you have to go through to be able to safely come in and out of the subdivision. People act differently when they're in their subdivision. They're not on the highway and they don’t look or pay attention. So we trained for that purpose,” Clayman said.
He said they’re also concerned about what this will do to the environment around their homes.
“Every single gas tank, diesel tank, dead fuel tanks, they all vent benzene gases, all kinds of hazmat chemicals that I have to have a special license to haul are venting up into the air. They're at a lower elevation than all these houses. So naturally, all these chemicals are going right into people's houses and backyards,” Clayman said.
The city is holding its next city board meeting at Herculaneum High School so they can accommodate more people on Monday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m.
Edwards said they’re working to set up meetings with loves to answer residents' questions.