Oil waste facility near Belfield OK’dStark County commissioners gave an Oklahoma company the green light to build an oil waste facility near Belfield, but not before hammering the company’s lead representative with questions and hearing out concerns of unsupportive residents.
Stark County commissioners gave an Oklahoma company the green light to build an oil waste facility near Belfield, but not before hammering the company’s lead representative with questions and hearing out concerns of unsupportive residents.
Commissioners spoke with Luke Bross, chief operating officer of Location Service Inc., during Thursday’s zoning meeting at the courthouse in Dickinson.
Bross presented his proposed project to commissioners earlier this month during a public hearing, but recommended his request be tabled until the county performed a technical review on the proposed facility.
The review is done, and commissioners approved the project, but not before addressing concerns.
Like other zoning commissioners who wanted to make sure the facility would not bring environmental harm to the area, Jay Elkin presented Bross with a laundry list of questions. Water run-off was one of his first concerns.
“The sites will be grated before use to direct all storm water to the runoff pond,” Elkin asked.
Bross said there will be two ponds on the 80 acre tract of land, approximately seven miles south of Belfield on Highway 85, both of which will be used to divert excess water.
Elkin also asked if materials going into the facility are considered flammable or hazardous in any way.
“Before (materials) are brought into the site, you have to do a profile,” Bross said, adding that all materials will be tested for safety before being processed.
Zoning Commission Chairman Russ Hoff posed questions as well.
“How many trucks are we looking at,” Hoff asked.
Bross said roughly 37,000 tons of material will be moved through the facility annually, which equates to about six trucks a day.
Hoff also addressed the issue of dust control during the meeting.
“(The facility) will have to have dust control,” Bross said. “We also propose dust control on the actual county road as well.”
Commissioners also opened the floor for public discussion.
Michael Emch, Bowman, approached the podium with thoughts on traffic safety. He said his wife nearly died from an accident at an intersection that will be heavily used by the facility’s workers, and is concerned increased traffic will threaten travelers.
“It’s also an established bus route, Emch said, adding that he has a niece and nephew who travel on the road frequently. “There’s a lot of safety concerns.”
Emch also said there is a treacherous hill near the build site, and is worried trucks passing over the hill could create a problem.
“You don’t’ see oncoming traffic until it’s on top of you,” he said.
Connie Fulton, who lives east of the building site, said she has a problem with the site’s location, not its existence.
“I personally don’t want that site there when my kids are riding the school bus every day,” Fulton said.
Byron Richard, the landowner of the plot, fully supports the project. During the meeting, he turned opposing concerns over to commissioners.
“How do you handle sour grapes,” he asked. “You guys figure it out.”
In the end, commissioners said they put a lot of thought into their decision to allow Location Services to build.
Hoff said he voted against the project, but only because he thought it might have been beneficial to wait to make a decision. However, he believes the facility is a worthy project.
“I just want to say I do think this is an OK thing,” Hoff said.