Manure processing plant not wanted, neighbors say local news suwanneedemocrat.com monroe la gas prices

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The applicant for the fertilizer processing plant, Greencycle, was represented by Jerry Norman and Lloyd Farr who presented its plans, talked about the good jobs it will bring and how the company will help the area by ridding it of the manure.

The meeting got off to a bad start when only four members of the Suwannee County Zoning Board of Adjustment showed up. It was announced that the fifth member, Laine Townsend, had resigned from the board and would not be at the meeting. Board attorney Bailey Browning of Madison told Chairman Tommie Jefferson that if there were a 2-2-tie vote on any issue voted upon during the evening, that issue would fail. The board decided to move forward anyway. Members present were A.W. Gaylard, Linda Young, Gary Martin and Jefferson.

Before the fertilizer plant issue came before the board, local businesswoman Stacey Worth came to the podium to discuss an appeal to the Board regarding the Board’s previous action in March giving the go-ahead for an ATV park to be constructed in the northwestern section of the county near the Suwannee River. It was determined the Board couldn’t hear comments from Worth or discuss the issue since she’s filed a circuit court case against the Board. As she turned to leave, Worth turned to the audience and said, "you be careful, be sure you go through the proper channels – they’ll lie to you!" and left.

During Greencycle’s presentation, it was pointed out that state and federal regulations will become more restrictive, thus the company would be helping the locals by processing the chicken and cow manure and sending it packaged to stores like Wal-Mart and Lowe’s. The economic value of the company was stated, and it was pointed out by Norman and Farr that locating Greencycle in this area will allow the county to remain an agricultural area by allowing for expansion of poultry houses and adding new dairies. The two said the manure will not sit on the floor of the plant after it’s brought in by private haulers but rather will be processed immediately. Later, after nearly three hours of discussion on the issue, the two men said there will be a second shift that will process the manure that is left over from the first shift, which begins at 7 a.m. Each time the audience found what they perceived to be any discrepancy in what the Greencycle people were saying, voices could be heard throughout City Hall where the meeting took place, making their displeasure and mistrust of the presentation known.

Both Norman and Farr indicated the site was chosen for them because of their need for electricity and natural gas. Suwannee Valley Electric will supply the electricity at the site, while the city of Live Oak will provide the gas since its natural gas line runs just a short distance from this property.

Neighbors expressed concern over who was trying to entice the company into that particular site. They said the noise from the plant will destroy the neighborhood and commented that the 60 plus trucks expected to enter the plant property daily along with 75 cars will create a hazard on the narrow road (145th) and made it clear they felt their land values would drop drastically.

After many comments and questions regarding the plant, a break was called. Upon returning, Norman asked to recess the meeting until April 27 at 6:30 p.m. so he could try and get his expert witness there to testify about the land value issue. The witness had been scheduled to testify at the March 30 meeting, but had a serious accident the night before when she was trampled by a pregnant horse in labor and was hospitalized. The request was granted.