Rockton Residents Pack Veterans Memorial Hall to Protest Proposed Asphalt Plant

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A representative from the Northern Illinois Service Corporation tried to make his pitch to Rockton residents about a proposed asphalt plant, but residents clearly weren’t having it.

The meeting started at 6pm, but nearly 6 hours later…they still weren’t able to reach a decision.

“It appears to me you are downplaying the impact it’s going to have on the community,” said one Rockton resident who lives about 2 miles from the proposed asphalt plant.

Dozens of Rockton residents filled Veterans Memorial Hall Wednesday night to voice their concerns about the proposed asphalt plant in their neighborhood.

“I think that there are hazardous chemicals that are used that will fill the air,” said one resident, Susan Willson. “We have elderly people, we have a lot of children. Those are some of our big concerns.”

“A lot of the neighbors are concerned about odor,” said Leta Stewart, another Rockton resident. “You may recall we’ve had other asphalt plants in our area, and there is a definite odor a mile or even two miles away.”

Rockton officials this week voted against Northern Illinois Services setting up shop in their town.

But, that vote has no effect on whether or not it can build a plant there.

That decision is up to the Winnebago County Board.

And the first hurdle to clear is the county’s zoning board of appeals.

Northern Illinois Services superintendent Will Hoff said residents should have no concerns about pollution.

“We would install a drum plant which is the cleanest and most efficient way to produce asphalt,” said Hoff when giving his testimony.

“We certainly want to grow in that community, but not with an asphalt plant,” said Willson.

The  zoning board of appeals has not yet voted on that permit.

There will be another meeting tonight at 7.45 at the Winnebago County Courthouse.
 

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