Tulsa Residents Divided Over Cement Plant Proposal

Tuesday, December 7th 2010, 8:42 pm
By: News On 6

Chris Wright, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Tulsa County residents are divided over whether or not they want a cement plant in their background.

But Tulsa Dynaspan wants to build one in an undeveloped area in west Tulsa.

Some people say the plant would bring much needed jobs and development to the area. But its location, right next to an elementary school and home, has others saying that cement and the neighborhood simply don't mix.

Dozens of locals sounded off on the proposed plant during a meeting with county officials inside Addams Elementary Tuesday. Many are adamantly opposed to it.

"I think they just thought they could sneak in, and we're not allowing them to sneak in. We are putting a stop to it," Kim Mulchare said.

"It would just put a real strain on me," Coy White said. "All the noise from the dump trucks and the dust and the dirt, and everything that's going to be coming from that."

Others say they want economic development.

"I think its progress," Pat Jones said. "I think if someone wants to start a business, have jobs for people that it's something good."

The controversy stems from a vacant lot at the intersection of 51st Street and 65th West Avenue. The ten acres is zoned for agricultural use.

Tulsa Dynaspan wants to change the zoning to industrial, and put in the cement plant. That request was denied by the county planning commission this summer, but the company is appealing the decision.

"We're a neighborhood. We're not industrial," Mulchare said. "There's plenty of industrial land in this area that they could purchase and move into that's already zoned that way."

It's not as if the area of the county isn't used to industry. There are a number of businesses just down the street.

But many residents aren't excited about adding another one. They are worried about the dust, the noise, the effect on property value, and the safety of their children. They say those concerns trump any new jobs the plant would bring.

"We just feel like it's very intrusive and invasive to come into our area and set up shop," Mulchare said.

The company says it plans to build sound walls to keep the noise to a minimum.  The county will decide the issue during its meeting next Monday.