I want to thank Rep. Heather Scott for providing pertinent and well-researched information at the Hi-Test smelter meeting (Nov. 29) at Newport High School.
As a former candidate for the District 1 Senate seat, I am aware how challenging it is to cover all events in our district. Even so, I was disappointed not to see our other district representatives, and candidates, attend this meeting and express interest in this project. As a former plant manager (in two Western states) I fully understand how difficult it is to build a new plant and I thank the Hi-Test team for their attempt to answer questions.
Unfortunately, I went away with more questions than answers. This plant could have major impact to our area, some good and some bad. I strongly support jobs for this district and Hi-Test claims to provide about 150 of them. But I do not want to sacrifice our clean and healthy environment for these jobs. With huge amounts of coal and wood being transported into this plant, I have many questions on how this will affect our local economy, roads and environment.
I encourage citizens — and their representatives — to do their homework, formulate questions and engage in the process of determining whether building this smelter is in the best interests of our community.