City wants say in coal terminal across state border
METROPOLIS, Ill. - For more than 60 years, Aggie Hopkins has enjoyed the sights of the Ohio River, but the landscape she said is changing. "The view here is not the same," she said.
That's in part because of the coal industry that has set up shop on the Illinois riverfront. "We enjoyed it so much before all the barges," Hopkins said. And Metropolis Mayor Billy McDaniel said more coal barges - even across the Ohio River - would hurt his city's image.
"We have over 120 million dollars just in the general area of Harrah's Casino," said Mayor McDaniel.
The noise and dust from the coal transfer facility he says could keep many folks away. So he drafted a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers asking them to deny Southern Coal Handling's application to build the facility.
"I don't think the Kentucky Corps hasn't been up front with Metropolis' and the residents of Massac County and Illinois," said Mayor McDaniel.
Southern Coal Handling didn't want go on camera but said "SCH Services is pleased to be in the position of being the initial development in what will hopefully become one of the premier heavy industrial parks in the entire Commonwealth of Kentucky."
The news of possibly having more barges hasn't fully won over Hopkins who still wants her view, but also understands the 60 jobs it could bring in.
"Times do change. Some of it's for the good, some of it's not," said Hopkins.
Mayor Billy McDaniel is asking for a 60 day extension for the public comment period and during that time, he's asking for at least two public hearings on the issue. But the company is not obligated to hold a public hearing because the land was already zoned for industrial use.