Friday, August 10
, 2001

Detriments outweight benefits of power plant

I am a resident of The Woods, a retirement community adjacent to Christian City about one-half mile from the proposed power plant that Williams Company is proposing to build.

I am one of a group of concerned citizens who are opposing the plant. These type plants are not supposed to be built in residential areas and this site is in an area zoned residential-agricultural.

The company is seeking to change the zoning of this area to industrial. There are many homes in the surrounding area, plus a huge retirement community. Christian City is made up of a nursing home, two assisted living homes, retirement homes and apartments, a children's home and a hospice.

The pollution from this plant is especially harmful to older people and children. Aside from the health factors, this would be very detrimental to the community with respect to decreased property values, noise and being unsightly.

The company keeps telling us there will be no bad effects from this, but we have been meeting with other people who now live or have lived near similar plants. They were wooed in the beginning, too, only to find out that it was their worst nightmare when finished.

One man in Rhode Island wrote that it was like listening to your neighbor mow the lawn night and day. He said there were annoying steam blows which can happen at any time.

It was even worse during construction. He also said there were accidents and people had to evacuate their homes.

Can you imagine evacuating the hundreds of bedridden older people in the nursing home and other facilities in case of an emergency?

When a representative from Williams was asked by the CEO of Christian City if they would find another site if bona fide research proved that the plant would be harmful to their residents, his reply was no, but they would work with them.

We have also met with medical professionals who can furnish documented evidence that this would be harmful, and Realtors who assure us that our property would decrease in value.

Undoubtedly, the lure of increased revenue is tempting to local politicians, but surely the cost to people should outweigh any other income from this plant.

Betty O' Hara

Union City

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