Athens mayor supports concerned residents regarding new asphalt plant

Mayor of Athens supports concerned residents regarding new asphalt plant
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 9:43 PM CST
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ATHENS, Ala. (WAFF) - Residents in Athens continue to express concerns over plans to build an asphalt plant near their neighborhood.

Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks has his own concerns about the planned asphalt plant Grayson Carter and Son Contracting wants to build on Moyers Road.

”I think the residents certainly have a right to voice their opposition and their opinion of this and I certainly will be straight upfront and tell you I also have some concerns,” Marks said.

The land used for the upcoming plant was a part of Athens before the Athens City Council de-annexed the property in 2020.

Shortly after, residents near the property discovered new plans to build an asphalt plant on the land. They are concerned living near the plant will negatively impact their health, safety and overall quality of life.

Jean Hilliard, who lives next door to the soon-to-be asphalt plant, says she feels betrayed and is looking to the Athens City Council for support.

“They threw us under the bus because when we built our home here we thought we were protected from anything but farmers and we liked the farmers,” she said.

Hilliard and other local residents learned of the upcoming plant just over a week ago when Grayson Carter and Son requested an air permit from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

After learning the city can not help several residents sent letters to ADEM asking the agency to deny the air permit for the plant.

For now, the issue is in the hands of ADEM and the Limestone County Commissioner.

Athens City Council Member James Lucas says after hearing what these residents had to say at Monday night’s city council meeting, he agrees with the people of his district.

Hilliard empathizes with the residents saying she would not want anything to affect her family’s quality of life.

“Don’t mess with my way of life. I’ve lived here 23 years and we built the house so we could die here,” Hilliard said.

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