MGC Chemical plant forum

Mae West Lane attended the forum at the Killeen Community Center on Thursday evening. Lane lives close to the site of the proposed chemical plant.

Kim Stock | Herald

If everything goes according to plan, the new MGC Pure Chemicals America plant will bring 28 new jobs to Killeen, 75 percent of which the company plans to hire from the area. Everything would run safely and smoothly, and this new plant, combined with Killeen’s close proximity to technology powerhouses in Austin, such as Samsung and Intel, could bring a number of other companies from the semiconductor industry to the city.

That could provide manufacturing jobs that could utilize the skills many soldiers obtained while stationed at Fort Hood, and provide livable wages. Eventually, maybe the semiconductor industry could become one of the dominant industries in the area.

“We need higher paying jobs, more manufacturing jobs, and this is what they look like,” said John Crutchfield, the executive director of the Killeen Economic Development Corporation. “Those are the jobs of the future, and they’re knowledge based. It’s a lot more than just this one little plant, it’s something that we can build.”

BUT, WHAT IF?

Residents haven’t found any comfort in the emergence of this type of industry in Killeen. In August, an Arkema company plant caught fire in Crosby in the Houston area. At that plant, organic peroxides used to make paint, plastics and other products caught fire and created fumes that first responders and residents said caused harm. The chemical compounds caught fire when power was knocked out during Hurricane Harvey, cutting off the refrigeration used to store the chemicals, according to news reports.

The worry is that something similar could happen in Killeen, if something goes wrong.

City Council members Shirley Fleming and Steve Harris hosted a community forum Thursday, at which Crutchfield, Killeen Fire Department Chief Brian Brank and Crutchfield’s guest, Stephen Minick, a former lobbyist and employee of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, were on hand to answer questions. The residents’ attitude toward the plan did not seem to have changed when the forum was over.

THE CHEMICALS

MGC has said the plant will create superpure hydrogen peroxide and have hydrogen peroxide, sulfuric acid and sodium hydroxide on-site.

To create the superpure hydrogen peroxide, employees will take hydrogen peroxide and filter it over and over until it reaches its purest form. Whatever is discharged goes into the city’s wastewater stream, and the pH is adjusted to ensure it won’t negatively impact the city’s wastewater, according to a video published by MGC that was shown at Thursday’s forum.

A material safety data sheet, or MSDS, provided by Sciencelab.com identifies hydrogen peroxide as “very hazardous in case of skin contact, eye contact or ingestion.” It’s also slightly hazardous if inhaled, and though it is listed as nonflammable, hydrogen peroxide is “slightly explosive in presence of open flames and sparks of heat, of organic materials, of metals, of acids.”

Arkema, the company that owned the plant in Crosby that caught on fire, describes itself as the third-largest producer of hydrogen peroxide in the world on its website. In February, it was fined $110,000 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for “serious violations,” according to a report from CNBC.

On Thursday, Crutchfield insisted Arkema is very different from MGC.

“That was a French company, not a Japanese company; we don’t know what their quality standards are over there, and I doubt they are higher,” he said. “We get 6 feet of water on this plant we’ve got bigger problems than this plant.”

“I think what happened in Crosby is not anything like what is going to be built in Killeen, to be honest with you.”

The Harris County district attorney’s office told the Houston Chronicle on Friday it opened a criminal investigation into the Arkema plant. At least one lawsuit is underway, filed by first responders.

According to the MSDS, sulfuric acid is nonflammable, and not likely to combust. However, it will react with water or steam to produce toxic and corrosive fumes. Sodium hydroxide is “slightly explosive in the presence of heat.”

SAFETY RECORD

This is the company’s second American plant. The first is in Mesa, Arizona. That plant has had flawless inspection results with the U.S. Department of Transportation. MGC, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company Inc., also has facilities in Virginia, the Middle East and throughout Asia.

Crutchfield said the Mesa plant has never been found in violation of any regulations. An online search found the shipping division of MGC, based out of Queen Creek, Arizona, was fined $3,940 in 2006 for a violation of the hazardous materials regulations.

The problem was described on the Department of Transportation website as: “Filled and offered hydrogen peroxide, aqueous solution ... in intermediate bulk containers that had not been subjected to required periodic visual inspection and leak-proofness testing.”

KEPT IN THE DARK

An overwhelming number of residents present at Thursday’s forum were frustrated they did not learn about the plant until a deal was already finalized. Killeen EDC is not required to disclose information about business dealings to members of the council who are not on the Killeen EDC board of directors, according to the contract KEDC signed with the city. Mayor Jose Segarra, Councilwoman Debbie Nash-King and Councilman Juan Rivera are on the KEDC board.

The reason for the secrecy, according to Crutchfield, was because MGC Pure Chemicals America required confidentiality for the deal to go through. That was to ensure the cost stays low and other companies do not become privy to any business dealings.

“I will also tell you that there’s a time value to money. And when these fellas want to go into production, they want to go into production. They want don’t want to deal with public elections,” Crutchfield said. “This is no different from the way it works in any other community in America. You may not like that, but that’s the way it works.”

Residents didn’t like that. Kathryn Bradley attends the nearby Killeen Seventh-day Adventist Church on Rancier Avenue with many senior citizens who live in the area. Mae West Lane said she lives just across the train tracks, and demanded an answer as to why she was not informed.

“I should have been given some type of notice,” Lane said.

WHAT WE KNOW

When it was all said and done, Harris said, residents at the meeting had many of their questions answered. It just might not have been the answers they were looking for.

“Based on the questions I heard last night, I don’t think the majority of citizens who came in uncomfortable with (the plant) are any more comfortable with it after they came in. ... I saw citizens’ frustrations as the answers were drawn out.”

Fleming was pleased so many residents showed up and made their voices known. She said the meeting was successful, but that doesn’t mean all the problems were solved.

“I don’t think that Mr. Crutchfield answered the questions the way he should have. ... I don’t think he did it justice,” she said. “I’d like to see him be more transparent, even though I know there’s a contract they have to go through. ... They need to come out and let the public know what’s going on.”

Residents did receive some answers. They found out why the news was kept quiet, and what the Arizona plant’s safety record was. They learned from Brank what type of precautions would be put into place to respond to a potential fire, and about the process of creating the superpure hydrogen peroxide.

Crutchfield also said MGC can pull out of the deal at any point. It is not bound to opening a plant in Killeen. One man asked if the Killeen EDC would monitor MGC to ensure it holds up its end of the bargain to hire local employees. Crutchfield said there are no written stipulations to require 75 percent of employees to be locals, and if qualified candidates cannot be found within the greater Killeen area, MGC will be forced to look elsewhere.

Left unanswered were specifics about safety. Though Crutchfield and Minick provided the safety record of MGC Pure Chemicals and distinguished differences between the plant to be erected in Killeen and the one ablaze in Crosby, the likelihood of an accident was not addressed.

Because a contract was signed, the Killeen EDC is set to go forward with the plant unless MGC backs out, according to Segarra.

He and the rest of the Killeen EDC board didn’t foresee this type of reaction among residents, he said, and the original thought was that this move could help attract other semiconductor industries to the city. Now, the Killeen EDC is going to think long and hard before recruiting a similar company.

“We were excited about it; now it gives us something to think about it for next time. We didn’t see any hazards or anything like that with a chemical plant. We were like ‘wow that’s great,’ and since we were competitive with other cities, we were just elated that we had beaten other cities and we thought this would go over real well,” Segarra said. “Yeah, we didn’t anticipate this, and that was our fault. But now we know.”


Background on the proposed MGC Pure Chemicals America plant in Killeen:

Aug. 2: The Killeen Economic Development Corporation signed a performance agreement with MGC Pure Chemicals America, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company, Inc. based in Tokyo, Japan. The two parties had been in secret negotiations leading up to the contract.

Aug. 9: KEDC sends a news release saying: MGC selected Killeen for a manufacturing plant that will service the semiconductor industry. The facility is expected to start production in 2019 and will produce super-pure hydrogen peroxide, a cleaning chemical used in the semiconductor industry for applications that require stripping, etching, and cleaning of silicon wafers.

Aug. 30: The Killeen Economic Development Corporation and MGC hold a private groundbreaking ceremony at the Killeen Business Park. The public and media were not invited.

August/September: Residents continue to seek answers, peppering their City Council representatives with answers. Only three council members, who serve on the KEDC board, were aware of the plant. Most were not informed, creating problems when constituents sought answers.

Sept. 28: Council members Shirley Fleming and Steve Harris hold a forum for the public to ask questions of the company and KEDC. The company doesn’t send a representative. KEDC fields questions but leaves some questions unanswered.

KEDC INCENTIVES

KEDC agreed to provide more than $1.78 million to MGC if it meets performance standards. If MGC wishes to expand, KEDC will give it up to 15.758 additional acres, worth $577,026.

KEDC initially has offered MGC:

$540,144 in 12.4 acres of land

Up to $486,000 in reimbursements for property tax payments

Up to $500,000 in infrastructure improvements

Up to $224,000 for job creation

About $20,000 in permitting fees, unless the city waives the fees

Up to $10,000 in closing costs

Unspecified amount for the cost of subdividing the site.


COMMUNITY VOICES

Residents did their homework and had additional questions for the Killeen Economic Development Corporation about its agreement with MGC to bring a chemical plant to the city. More than 100 residents attended the Thursday community meeting, sponsored by City Council members Shirley Fleming and Steve Harris. Harris and Fleming, along with residents, learned of the agreement after it was signed by KEDC and MGC.

Mae Lane

“The only thing separating me from your proposed building site is a railroad track and a few trees. Why wasn’t I informed that this place was being built? I should have been given some kind of notice.”

Joseph Szymkowski

“If the residents of Killeen do not want this plant, what are the citizens’ rights in this matter?”

Emmett Hohensee spoke at the meeting and referenced Killeen’s years of deficit spending: “It seems like this is all about money, not what the people want, and truthfully, Killeen doesn’t have too good of a record of keeping track of its money, and is this what we really want?”

Vivian Perry: “If you would’ve offered some of the incentives to the other companies that you’ve offered to the chemical company, would we have more businesses?”

Margaret Tucker attended the meeting: “I understand there is going to be a rail spur involved? I want to know how big the rail spur will be and how it will impact the neighborhoods in that area.”

Gary Carraway also attended the meeting: “I think the community is very concerned about the hazard coming from your chemical. I think if you would be a little bit more forthcoming and say ‘These are the human health hazards’ we’d be a little bit more secure.”

Bettie McIntyre of Killeen, who was at the meeting, said the long-term effects were unclear.

“It worries me. They are not telling us anything.”

One of Ursula Brown’s concerns was the plant’s water usage:

“What about drought?”

Thomas Penn of Killeen attended the meeting. Penn compared the benefits and risks to squeezing an orange: “The juice is not worth it, when you hire 28 people, for the danger. “Looks like we bought a pig in the bag.”

Kathryn Bradley goes to a church near the park and noted that some senior citizens live on Twin Creek Drive outside the park.

“We want safety in this town. And there must be some other things that we can get in this town that won’t create hazards to our health.”

Richard Youngerman couldn’t attend but sent an email in favor of the plant: “I have lived in Killeen for over 30 years and every time an industry wants to come in to Killeen, the City Council wants to stop it from coming in. This would bring jobs in to Killeen. I live less than a mile from where the plant is going.”

Would you like to share your opinion? Please go to http://bit.ly/chemicalplant to fill out our brief questionnaire.

254-501-7552 | sullivan@kdhnews.com

(10) comments

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

@Pharon Enochs: You are correct in these assumptions.

This is a city endorsed and funded and as to who 'owns' the property that apparently can speak for the city in matters that does not always allow the city council, except for the fact that council members and the mayor are members of the board of directors, who will profit from this land deal, and with the city's endorsement.

You can say that 'this is having your cake and eating it too', or 'taking city money and giving away certain aspects of this city's acquisition funding, without being a designated and authorized entity to handle and/or hold/spend public money and none of this has been put forth with National fire protection, the Chemical group, the ASME, ISA or the Electrical code organization. or any of the other organizations that have some jurisdiction. The comment presented by Gary Carraway and his comment about the chemicals, 'hydrogen peroxide, sulfuric acid and sodium hydroxide' is a 'human health hazard', Well this is just not the case as I have offered in my previous comment about Sulfuric Acid. These are dangerous chemical compounds, dangerous to the eyes, can cause dangerous burns even blindness, throat if ingested, lungs if breathed in, and the body if exposed especially if limbs are moist r wet.

Copy from previous articles:
'Awaiting answers to questions about MGC chemical plant:
By Julie A. Ferraro | Herald staff writer
Sep 19, 2017

Killeen resident James Norton, a retired Air Force colonel, took his questions to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which has oversight of hazardous waste and air emissions in the state.

Norton discovered that TCEQ has had no contact from anyone connected to the MGC plant regarding the necessary permits.

“Nobody has that information,” Norton said. “Will they be producing hazardous waste or air emissions?”

The public and media were not invited to the Aug. 30 groundbreaking.


While the EDC was instrumental in helping to bring the plant to Killeen, “Crutchfield doesn’t have the authority to approve the plant,” Norton said.

Hydrogen peroxide — as listed on the National Institutes of Health website — is unstable, and “a powerful oxidizing agent that can cause spontaneous combustion when it comes in contact with organic material.” End of copy.

It is true, some of the city council were made aware of this venture, and to my way of thinking, was done on the sly and in secrecy, even to the newspaper until 'after this action was completed'. And that's transparency???? What do you have to say about this little venture mister city manager, Is this Transparency????

I have asked the question: 'Was this brought up on the meeting held in secrecy last night???? I still do not have an answer. Maybe the citizens of this town should 'ask this question in mass'. Ask the Mayor as he is on the board of directors, or councilman Rivera as he is also on the board. That in turn brings up the question: 'Since this is classified as hazardous compounds, is this the appropriate setting for this site????

So Mr. City Mayor, I call on you to answer this question as neither the city manager nor the city legal staff has seen fit to answer this question, 'By what authority does the KEDC group have the vested authority to spend money that is the citizen's money for such activity's as being spent on this chemical company acquisition. You can send the answer by the newspaper via Kyle Blankenship, staff writer for the Killeen Daily Herald.

I think it has been pointed out that this city is not in favor of letting the chemical company come to this city in the present form of the agreement, and I believe the poll that was conducted indicated it's defeat by a large margin. It is not wanted here.

Let it come before this city council, in regular session, and in an open meeting, duly orchestrated and duly notified of said meeting, and let this council, and the citizens, both have a period to discuss and comment about this matter and following this period come to a vote on 'whether or not this is in fact a good deal for the citizens of the city. And furthermore, let this KEDC group's actions be dealt with as to 'what our city charter has to say' about the legality of this group, and let it be informed of such actions in an open session of this city council by the legal staff of this city by written comments. We of this city are tired of the lack of restraint that has been exhibited by this administrative group in the past.

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

Pharon Enochs

The following comments are indeed the opinions of Pharon Enochs There is little for me to add the postings which have been posted just would like to ascertain if I missed something. Let get this right we have a city council and we have an EDC or some such organization. I was under the impression the EDC as part of it's job was to searched and researched and find business which would like to build in the city and would be compatible with the needs of the city. Once a business was found which met these requirements the information would be referred to the appropriate people namely the city council. I was not aware the EDC organization would negotiate and make a deal with the business have a private ground breaking meanwhile keep it a secret from the entire city council except for council members on their board. I was under the impression the city council was the body which approved, granted the permits and all such documentation and made decisions regarding a business to build within the city limits. Has the council's authority been transferred to another party? Perhaps the mayor and some of his pals have changed the rules since the mayor apparently wears two hats and perhaps at times speaks out of both sides of his mouth. It appear he is siding with the chemical plant group rather than the people who elected him to office. Some things seem to never change in this city without limits. It looks like the city will go to any limit to give selected people/organizations/business what they desire to spite the wants and wishes of it's citizens. God bless America, President Trump and John Wayne wherever he may be.

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

Well I see that 'The Land Acquisition for the Chemical site' is not up for asking the question: 'Is this land acquisition and conditional sale to a chemical company really a valid question for the KEDC to be putting forth'????
Are we to ask questions then turn on our heels and acquiesce, again, to letting this Killeen Administrative Group have it their own way????

I believe with the exorbitant funding that this council spent on the Management Studies, which did point out the, what I consider superficial study, pointed out just what was wrong in this city, and now the same conditions have been pointed out in this KEDC 'study' that this is all wrong for the city administrative group to allow such activity, that this KEDC group has no authority in the special city funding of such an award that allows this KEDC group to hold office in such a particular way without getting the permission of this city council and this city manager, or put another way, the charter of the city of Killeen and it's administrative functioning. What does the city legal arm have to say about the legality of this KEDC group's moves????

I think it has been pointed out that this city is not in favor of letting the chemical company come to this city in the present form of the agreement.

Let it come before this city council, in regular session, and in an open meeting, duly orchestrated and duly notified of said meeting, and let this council, and the citizens, both have a period to discuss and comment about this matter and following this period come to a vote on 'whether or not this is in fact a good deal for the citizens of the city. And furthermore, let this KEDC group's actions be dealt with as to 'what our city charter has to say' about the legality of this group, and let be informed of such actions in an open session of this city council by the legal staff of this city by written comments. We of this city are tired of the lack of restraint that has been exhibited by this administrative group in the past.

Let there be transparency in this city administrative group and this city council. This is a good test for how this city is going to function, out in the open or 'the way it has always been done in the past'.

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

THUGNIFICENT KILLED ME

A couple dozen jobs in a town of 150,000 people.Let's ignore for a moment the risks to the community by having a plant in the middle of a heavily populated area, as opposed to having it in an unincorporated part of any Texas county. The issue here isn't the lousy 24 odd jobs. The issue here is the MASSIVE tax breaks. kickbacks, graft, and unknown amounts of money being given away to a minuscule plant and employer. Add to the fact that a UNELECTED, self appointed noble gave away tax revenue from a lawfully elected municipal body. This deal is foul. This deal is as crooked as buying churches, taking junkets, missing millions of tax dollars, settling sexual assault lawsuits, rogue city employees videoing female city employees, sexual trysts on desks in seXXXy city hall, and city owned waterparks.

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

I will try one more time. As says @Countrynewsman:
Copy: 'Bottom line...does anyone want Killeen to grow and increase the value of our property...or would you rather we just remain the same and scare every good business away?' End of copy.

I have seen a town 'weather away and go into default' and it not a pretty picture. First the 'downtown sections of the city just shrivels and shrinks away until there is not a downtown worth mentioning, just a dust bowl. All of the 'new building' of a city will start with little Mom and Pop shops that continually are opened all over town and shortly thereafter close their doors. The next venture is 'everybody goes to the adjacent city's and towns to shop'. Is that what you foresee for Killeen???? So 'what is growth in your minds eye???? Is it a plan that makes sense, that everyone buys into or is it a well kept secret that cost the citizenry more and more money and nobody knows for sure 'what's going on???? I vote for number one, that is I had a vote in the first place.

Now as to @VetA42: copy: 'IMHO whom ever You are You have not considered that it is growth or better tax rates but the hidden behind closed doors that is causing the discontent here in Killeen.
For every good that the Council may have accomplished it just doesn't balance with the deception the Council, Mayor and other City Administrators current and many past included have done!
So look at the whole process and the bottom line changes completely.' End of copy.

I foresee that @VetA42: has you outclassed in every department. @countrynewsman: 'You had better take your head out of the ground and look around'. Come out and smell the fragrance's that will be present with fresh air, not the smells of a chemical plant when it discharges, or explodes, but just good clean fresh air.

If you people would try to attract the business ventures, such as industrialized business ventures, or a car manufacturing business that does not have so much chemical ventures, and possibly build that out from all residential areas, or anything of that nature, I would applaud you for your efforts but not on an industrial park that is already owned by 'you know who'.

I will suggest that the city council bring it forth at the next regular session of the city council. Let it be known 'just how this reacts to it's citizenry'.

And as to the comment of Gary Carraway, 'If you think that 'hydrogen peroxide, sulfuric acid and sodium hydroxide' is a 'human health hazard', read what these chemicals can do to the human body. It can 'tear the human body up if anyone comes into contact with concentrated Sulfuric acid in either the liquid or vapor moments', nor do they want to contact Sodium Hydroxide, lye as it again, is nothing to be taken so lightly. How much 'home work' did you do Mr. Carraway????
And Ursula Brown's comments concerning the plant's water usage or consumption. These are things that should have been looked at before agreeing to the location of this facility. Were they????
This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

user4574

“We were excited about it; now it gives us something to think about it for next time. We didn’t see any hazards or anything like that with a chemical plant. We were like ‘wow that’s great,’ and since we were competitive with other cities, we were just elated that we had beaten other cities and we thought this would go over real well,” Segarra said. “Yeah, we didn’t anticipate this, and that was our fault. But now we know.”

Mayor Segarra getting excited about a chemical plant without the thought of safety for the citizens should raise red flags for everybody. Now we know that he puts money first before the lives of the people living here. The plant itself isn't the biggest danger, it's our own Mayor. I hope all of you out there plan on voting him out.

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

In my opinion, what does the future hold for Killeen, 'Nothing if this city continues to function as it has in the past'. It will continue to give big 'false promises, continue to be dependent on Fort Hood for it's lively hood, and continue to build new houses that will continue it's demise into a 'bedroom community that thrives on false promises from it's city administrative group'.

Now I want to point out what I think this is based upon:

Copy:

Copy: 'If everything goes according to plan, the new MGC Pure Chemicals America plant will bring 28 new jobs to Killeen, 75 percent of which the company plans to hire from the area.'

Continuation of copy: 'Everything would run safely and smoothly, and this new plant, combined with Killeen’s close proximity to technology powerhouses in Austin, such as Samsung and Intel, could bring a number of other companies from the semiconductor industry to the city.'

So now this is based on 'Killeen's close proximity 'to technology powerhouses in Austin such as Samsung and Intel'. End of copy.

In my opinion, 'this is a pipe dream'. This just further adds to my comment that 'this will continue with the promise of becoming even more so 'it's demise into becoming a bedroom community' that will serve the city of Austin.

Copy: 'That could provide manufacturing jobs that could utilize the skills many soldiers obtained while stationed at Fort Hood, and provide livable wages. Eventually, maybe the semiconductor industry could become one of the dominant industries in the area.'

Continuation of copy: “We need higher paying jobs, more manufacturing jobs, and this is what they look like,” said John Crutchfield, the executive director of the Killeen Economic Development Corporation. “Those are the jobs of the future, and they’re knowledge based. It’s a lot more than just this one little plant, it’s something that we can build.” End of copy.

We need more 'industry', not only manufacturing, but an industry wide basis to build upon, and this 'industrial park' is not it. That is the way this city governs, in bits and pieces and jerks.

The original story line was '28 high paying jobs, to be replaced by the story line:

Copy: 'MGC must hire and retain 28 employees in five years. The first year the chemical plant will be in operation, it will be required to have three full-time positions, and each will pay an average salary of $66,000 a year. The agreement said that number will increase to 20 full-time positions with the same average salary in year two, and remain the same for year three. By the fifth year the plant is in operation, there should be 28 full-time positions. Each full-time position can be split into two, part-time positions that also meet the required 40-hour week and 52 weeks a year schedule.' End of copy.

This story line also says that; 'the new MGC Pure Chemicals America plant will bring 28 new jobs to Killeen, 75 percent of which the company plans to hire from the individuals'. Now my new fuzzy math does not equate 28 new employees with three full time positions that will pay the average salary of $66,000 per year to the most recent article that says ' 75 percent of which the company plans to hire from the area', 7 full time employees and the remainder could be 'part time employees. Where do you think these '7 full time employees will be coming from???? My best guess, and I think that it is a probability that they will coming from Japan.

So it seems to me that if this company 'comes to town', that the promise of full time employment of high paying employment, that many if not all of the high paying jobs will be for the foreigners, who by the way will have to have green cards, and that leaves only the part time employment picture for the citizens of Killeen, and in doing so will facilitate the new danger of fire, explosion, and the release of dangerous vapors into our atmosphere.

And for all of this, this KEDC is prepared to commit land, money, with the possible commitment of more land and money to this company, 'without even bothering to take it before the city council, as per our city charter reads'. What if some members of the city council remains in the dark, 'some of the city council members and the mayor are cognizant of this plan, the members who are already members of the board of directors', so that should be sufficient to keep this project going. It should not matter, in the long run.

This new plan, to build on the Austin facility's of Samsung and Intel would not have the need for rail facility's, they could just utilize I 14, all 25 miles of it and transport their merchandise by truck. The same hold true for the chemicals that will be stored at the facility.


It seems to me that the KEDC is 'continuing to beat the same dead horse', the one that smells to high heaven. But what do I know.
This city council should be in the line of progression and in the front of the pack and plans laid out, before this city comes to any conclusions. Introduce this to the city council, at once, and see what this council says about it before any additional moves are made. This city 'owes it to the current city council'. Put these and all future plans and commitments 'out in the open' to make sure that 'only the select few are made aware of any and all plans for this city. Do not continue to 'operate in secrecy'.

By the way, 'I have not changed my belief that this plant is a 'NO GO' and should be stopped in it's tracks. Somewhere else, maybe, but not in it's present location.

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

Hacksaw

Once again the tax whores in city government put aside their responsibilities to the taxpayers and offer up thousands of dollars and acres of land to attract business of which they know nothing about. "We didn’t see any hazards or anything like that with a chemical plant." Really? You don't think a CHEMICAL PLANT might be hazardous?
What about all the other materials that will flow through, not only the plant, but the rest of the city as the raw materials will be trucked through town!
If you want to attract business to your community you have to start with the basics. The first thing you need to do is get a handle on your exploding crime rate. No self respecting CEO is going to come to a community in which he has to fear for his daughters safety on her way to the country club.
You also have to have the infrastructure to move products SAFELY through your community. (I hope one of their shipments doesn't need to get through town at 4:00 on a payday Friday)
EDC and City Council really failed the taxpayers this time but that's nothing new. Mrs. Lane was right; she, and a few thousand others, deserved to know what you were conspiring to build behind her yard!

countrynewsman

Bottom line...does anyone want Killeen to grow and increase the value of our property...or would you rather we just remain the same and scare every good business away?

VetA42

IMHO whom ever You are You have not considered that it is growth or better tax rates but the hidden behind closed doors that is causing the discontent here in Killeen.
For every good that the Council may have accomplished it just doesn't balance with the deception the Council, Mayor and other City Administrators current and many past included have done!
So look at the whole process and the bottom line changes completely.

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