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Hoover opponents not ready to give in

Wood-treatment facility project to come before County Commission for approval on April 3.

The Hoover Treated Wood Products project being planned outside of Havana will come before the Gadsden County Board of County Commissioners for approval on Tuesday, April 3.

The operation of the facility, according to Tim Borris, vice president of operations for the company, would be to apply flame-retardant material to wood products to create their finished items.

At a community meeting on Thursday, March 8 at Havana Town Hall, Borris explained that his company’s facility would be nothing like the now-defunct wood treatment plant off State Road 12 — which has been classified as a Superfund site due to the contamination that resulted from the other company’s processes at that location.

Borris promised that the Hoover facility would not use any of the same sort of chemicals as were used in the prior site.

Then, after a month delay for all the parties involved to try to come together, the Gadsden County Planning and Zoning Commission approved the conceptual site plan for the Hoover project at its last meeting on Thursday, March 15.

The approval came with certain provisional conditions attached to the plan, which were agreed on by the company.

However, a group of adjacent property owners represented by attorney Randall Denker, of the Denker Law Firm in Tallahassee, were still not satisfied all their conditions were being met, Denker and her clients still plan on opposing the project at the upcoming county commission meeting if an agreement with the company can’t be reached.

While Denker said there have been some very good exchanges with the company, they have not been able to come to a complete agreement as of yet.

“My clients have concerns on how this facility will affect their property values and they are concerned they will no longer be able to peaceably enjoy their properties,” Denker said.

One request the property owners have that the company has not agreed to as yet is the creation of a permanent undisturbed vegetative buffer around the plant.

“Much of the area around the plant is undevelopable,” Denker said. “With vegetation in place, it will be much easier for my clients not to hear what’s going on at the plant. Hay bales and silt fencing do not work so a vegetative buffer is absolutely critical.”

With the number of neighboring citizens still unsure if this is a project they are comfortable with, it should be very interesting at the County Commission next Tuesday.

The meeting will start at 6 p.m. at the Butler Governmental Complex (9B East Jefferson Street) in Quincy.

By: Randall Lieberman