Around 12 years ago I was working on what is now the Blue Shores Development it was called Newport then. At that time the old starch factory was in full operation. On the wrong day it would absolutely stink in that subdivision. There was only around 10 houses in there at that time. I remember thinking who the hell would live down here with that stink.
As we all know Amazingly Green bought out the old starch plant and converted it into an ethanol producing plant, apparently they spent over $20M on the construction and created 70 full time well-paying jobs.
The reason I bring this up is although this facility ended up closing because of the supply and cost of corn in 2011. Prior to that the situation with this company was a complete nightmare caused by all parties involved including the town council. The place opened for business in 2007 and I was shocked that within weeks the new residents at Blue Shores were immediately complaining about the smell coming from Amazingly Green. My company at that time had an office fairly close to the place and yes it did stink some days, but I can attest to the fact that it was no worse than when the starch factory was operating. So we had new residents buying a house eyes wide open to the fact that there is a smell producing manufacturing plant right on their door step then immediately start to complain because it smells. I know that I will get slated for saying this but as far as I am concerned they are a bunch of NIMBY’s (not in my back yard) of the worst order. The town also needs a kick up the back side for originally allowing the subdivision that close to a stink emitting manufacturing plant. It’s all gone now I don’t care if the price of corn goes through the floor who in their right mind would take that nightmare on again. I’m pretty sure one day you will see the trucks show up and start dismantling it for shipment to China for scrap.
The residents of this town have to decide the following:
1. Are we a service based town filled with nothing but McJobs catering to the whims of recreational visitors?
2. Are we a manufacturing hub filled with the type of jobs that Paul was talking about in the previous post?
3. Or a happy medium between the two?
My choice is number 3. I bet that is the choice of many of you also. If that is the case the Nimbyism has to go, because manufacturing is ugly and sometimes smelly and we will all have to make a few sacrifices for the sake of decent paying jobs. My suggestion would be to zone areas like around the dump and the old Goodyear plant as heavy industrial and make sure there is a decent buffer zone around those areas from residencial.
My last comment on this subject is the casino argument. We want decent paying jobs (casinos pay around 30% more than for similar jobs elsewhere) but as soon as the proposal came forward the naysayers came out with their studies and statistics. Again Nimbyism. I would love to see a resort style casino come to Collingwood that will give Blue Mountain a run for its money.
That’s it for me and this ED file now. I have thrown a few ideas around, you can take or leave some of them or all of them, the main thing hopefully is by the amount of hits I am getting I have started the conversation, which is more than counselor Lloyds office shuffling will do. Next year you get to vote in the municipal election when a candidate shows up at your door make sure you ask him/her what they intend to do on economic development file, because without it this town will not survive.