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Plans for metal recycling operation discussed at Camargo meeting


By Tom Marshall
Senior Advocate writer

A capacity crowd was at the Camargo Community Center Tuesday night as Wildcat Recycling addressed public concerns over an operation it plans to develop there.

About 40 people attended the discussion that occurred at the city commission’s monthly meeting.

One of the chief public concerns was over the company’s plan to deal with potential runoff to nearby Greenbrier Creek, which feeds into Greenbrier Reservoir that serves as the primary source of drinking water to Mt. Sterling and six local water districts.

The lake is less than a mile away.

The business will accept ferrous and non-ferrous metals for recycling and possibly cardboard paper and plastic on the six-acre site, said Charlie Fauste, one of the prospective owners.

Fauste said the company will have a containment system to deal with any liquids to prevent any runoff. He said the company will not have more than 1,000 gallons of liquids on site at any time.

Fauste assured those in attendance that the public will not be endangered.

“I understand your concerns, but this will be done in a top notch manner,” he told the audience. “We plan to make sure everything is done appropriately.”

Fauste is associated with Fauste Oil Services of Irvine. His company is in the process of obtaining ownership of the property, which is across U.S. 460 from Camargo Salvage.

A front-end loader has already been spotted on the property, which may be used in the construction process, he said.

The company presented a copy of its Groundwater Protection Plan to Rick Fletcher, manager at Mt. Sterling Water and Sewer, who had expressed concerns over the potential impact on the reservoir.

The company plans to present the plan also to the state’s Division of Water, which must approve it before the project can move forward.
While the state will have the authority to inspect the business, Fletcher said he was concerned that there is no provision for local inspections.
Fletcher asked city attorney Angela Patrick if the city can enact a more stringent plan than what the state requires. He said MSWS does so in its operation.

Patrick responded that the city does not have the authority to do so and Rodney Davis, an attorney representing the company, said any such requirement would be burdensome to all local businesses who would have to comply also.

Fauste, however, offered to allow local officials to inspect the operation at any time.

Solid Waste Coordinator Brian Bailey said the Division of Water may also require that the company submit a pollution discharge plan.

Pollution and any potential danger to the community was an area of concern expressed by Buddy Wilson, environmental health director at the Montgomery County Health Dept.

Wilson said he wants assurances that the operation will not turn into a massive environmental hazard like the one discovered on Long Lane in 2017, where arsenic contamination was found in the soil.

Many residents there tested positive for high levels of arsenic in their blood. The state closed off the site for several weeks for cleanup. A large number of residents never returned.

Long Lane is located off Paris Pike.

The company said there should be no environmental risk.

Mayor Clayton Neal said the city will grant Wildcat a city business license and has no authority to refuse them one.

Davis said the public is getting ahead of itself with concerns over operation of the business, which has not yet been granted the business license.

Those concerns can be addressed later when plans for the operation are completed.

Local officials told the Advocate that there is nothing the county can do to prevent it from locating in Camargo because it does not have zoning. Previous attempts for the county to enact zoning was met with considerable backlash.

County Commissioner Melody Townsend, however, told company officials that the business may fall within the five-mile radius of Mt. Sterling that is also covered by the Mt. Sterling Planning and Zoning Commission.

While there was little public comment, one resident did express concerns over a potential fire hazard that could be presented by the business.
Company officials responded that there is little danger.

The resident said the public will be watching every step of the way.
Other concerns expressed by the public involve a possible drop in local property values and noise pollution.

Fauste said a privacy fence will be constructed around the business and it will not operate during nighttime hours.

Fauste was also asked if the business will employ local residents and he said that most workers will come from the Camargo-Jeffersonville area.
Davis told the commission that the company will be a benefit to the community.

“You have to understand that these people are about to invest a significant amount of money in your community so they have every motivation to make sure what they’re doing is appropriate and above board and is going to pass muster with the state,” Davis said. “They realize all eyes are going to be on them. I think you can feel confident that they are going to spend the appropriate money to assure that they are doing the right thing.”

Neal thanked the company for coming to the meeting and addressing what their plans are.