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October 15, 2006

QUESTIONS ASKED ABOUT MUNITIONS PLANT

Following is the article from the Monticello News (10/12/06) concerning the Munitions Plant hearing at the City Council meeting. TWG has obtained a “fact sheet” that had been distributed to select groups and individuals. The public has been unaware of exactly who, when, where, why, and what. Information from this fact sheet has been added to the article below and noted by **.

City Council Reviews Munition Plant Application, Susan Jacobs, Monticello News

Monticello City Council spent a considerable amount of time discussing details, though taking no action, concerning a special exception for the possible relocation of Polywad, a munitions assembly plant, to the Monticello Industrial Park. **You can find out more about Polywad at www.polywad.com. **

In addition to providing council members Mayor Susan Holmes, Glenn Newsome, Bryan Standifer and Scott Sauls with an informational packet, Economic Development Authority Chairman Rusty Bullard said that the shotgun shell manufacturing plant will measure about 1,300 square feet and be located at least 160 feet away from any other structures. **The fact sheet says the facility will be 12,000 sq.ft. (not 1300 sq ft). The facility will include an indoor firing range. The facility will need 5-6 acres. The EDA will build the building at an estimated cost of $86,00 with a lease purchase proposed between the company and EDA.**

Endorsing the relocation of the plant to Monticello, Mr. Bullard emphasized that the Dept. of Defense, an intended buyer of the manufacturer's goods, has specific guidelines that the project must meet before beginning production. **Sources say that the plant is now located in Monroe County, GA. The company is 21 years old.**

The EDA chairman also shared a letter of endorsement from Emergency Management Services Director Ed Westbrook regarding the company's safety plan. **The plant is not required to report to EPD because the products have no environmental problems.**

David Dyer gave a presentation displaying the type of shell casings that would be produced at the plant. He shared with council that he has known of the company and known its owner for more than a decade. **The company produces a special higher performance shotshell for Special Operations Command and supplies all the weapons and cartridges to the various elite military special units—SEALS, Rangers, Delta Force, etc. The products are NOT explosives; they are a fast-burning propellant that is non-toxic. **

During the public hearing prior to the business meeting, Charles Forsythe advocated for increased public information about the proposal. He spoke of safety concerns about the explosives to be manufactured and asked council to postpone action on the zoning application until further information was provided.

Mr. Newsome said that he was not opposed to the project but wanted to proceed with "an abundance of caution." He inquired as to whether any research of the state regulations regarding placing such a facility near a school—in this case Griffin Tech— had been reviewed. The councilman urged those involved to inquire with the state regulatory commission about the issue.
**The indoor firing range will be designed for safety and noise reduction so that no stray shells can escape and noise will not be heard past 100 feet of the building.**

Mr. Standifer also requested a copy of the material data sheet from the manufacturer. **The data sheet should be published in the Monticello News for all citizens to read. **

**Nothing was said in the news article about jobs. The plant will add ten (10) jobs for our county starting with $7/hr for unskilled labor and up to $20/hr for skilled labor.

City manager Hugh King informed council that another public hearing on the issue would need to be scheduled in order to meet the requirements necessary to take action on the proposal.

A called meeting for Monday, Oct. 30 was set to conduct the public hearing and take a vote.

If you are interested, have questions, or if you have concerns, please attend the meeting. The TWG has attempted to put forth more information about this new proposed industry then seems to be forthcoming from the EDA or the City.

TWG
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