The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday evening to formally oppose plans to relocate a concrete plant from downtown Birmingham to the Five Points West community, citing public health concerns.
A resolution submitted and recommended by District 8 Councilor Steven Hoyt opposed Sherman Industries’ announced plans to move to west Birmingham “due to the adverse impact that the company’s pollutants will have on the general health and safety of the citizens.”
A pending air permit application from Sherman Industries would place a concrete batch plant at 3240 Fayette Ave., near the Birmingham CrossPlex Village. The plant would move from its current location at 1100 Second Ave. S.
Neighborhood leaders speaking at Tuesday’s council meeting expressed concern about the health problems such a plant would cause in their neighborhood.
“We’ve got a lot of elderly (residents), a lot of people dealing with asthma, breathing problems,” said Johnny Gunn, vice president of the Belview Heights Neighborhood Association and the Five Points West Community. “I’d just like to say that if we let the concrete plant come into Five Points West, it’s just killing us all off a lot quicker. If that’s what you want, that’s what you’ll get, basically. It’ll just be a quicker death for the Five Points West Community. “
Other neighborhood leaders expressed frustration about the lack of information they had received about the plant. “I don’t want them to feel that they can come into our community … and overlook us,” said Vickie Moore, president of the Central Park Neighborhood Association. “After all, when they go to bed, they’re not going to bed in Central Park or in the surrounding areas, either. Give us the common courtesy and respect that you would give any other municipality. Let us be able to make a conscious decision about what we want in our community and what we do not want in our community.”
The resolution accompanied a letter from Jefferson County Health Officer Mark E. Wilson informing that the public comment period regarding the plant’s air permit had been extended through Thursday, June 6, with a public hearing scheduled to take place that evening at the Birmingham Crossplex. Residents are invited to submit comments for the hearing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Woodfin said his office would send a letter to Sherman Industries requesting them to attend and engage with residents at that town hall meeting.
Correction: An earlier version of this story included information about the health dangers of cement, which are different from those of a concrete batch plant. BirminghamWatch will be following with an update and/or story on the environmental concerns associated with a concrete batch plant.