MOBOT, residents oppose new plant near Shaw Nature Reserve

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Mo. (KPLR) – Leaders of the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Shaw Nature Reserve, along with residents, are fighting a proposed concrete plant in Franklin County.

Sixty thousand people a year visit the Shaw Nature Reserve to bird watch, enjoy the beauty, the peace and quiet. But, that peacefulness may be at stake if a concrete plant is built within 600 feet of the reserve.

The man in charge of the reserve said, in his 36 years with the organization he has never opposed new development around the reserve until now.

 “Noise,” explained the reserve’s John Behrer. “Not just the machinery and the conveyor belts, but trucks backing up with those alarms on the back and the loaders and all that kind of stuff.”

Roger Landvatter wants to build the plant. He said noise is not a problem at his Ready Mix plant in Kirkwood, and it will not be at the new one either.

“Now with the new modern equipment the regulations the noise is down.”

Nearby homeowners were up in arms.  They were also worried about their health and the chemicals in the dust they could breathe in from the manufacturing of concrete.

It really should go into an industrial area and area more suitable for concrete plants,” said resident Tom Mitchell.

“We’re regulated,” Landvatter said. “So there is no dust.”

He also said the plants have filters to catch pollutants before going into the air.

Mavis Huff/Opposes Plant  says: “What are they going to do it the chemical do get out?” asked Mavis Huff, who also opposes the new plant near the reserve.

“We’re disappointed the county’s not standing up for us,” said another woman.

Landvetter says he promises to be a good neighbor. If there are any problems he will address them.

“Treat someone like you want to be treated. That’s where we’re at.”

Behrer is not convinced.

“It’s not an appropriate use of the land, in our opinion.”

A Franklin County planning review committee meets at 8:30 Friday morning in Union, Mo. They will make a recommendation on whether the plant should be built there.

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