Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ethanol Plant Coming to Wayne; the Distillery Deal Seems All but Sure

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ethanol Plant Coming to Wayne; the Distillery Deal Seems All but Sure

Article excerpt

Byline: MIKE MORRISON

An ethanol distillery in southeastern Wayne County appears all but guaranteed.

A group of area investors, Atlantic Ethanol Inc., will build the plant on a 350-acre site near the Mount Pleasant community that is owned by the Wayne County Industrial Development Authority. Atlantic Ethanol has put down a nonrefundable $1 million deposit with Fagen Inc., the Minnesota company under contract to build the plant.

With 45 employees the plant will provide an economic boon for a county in need of industrial jobs and will substantially increase the tax base.

County Commission Chairman Franklin Smith said he already is hearing complaints from residents along Aiken Road, where the plant will be built, and expects more at 7 p.m. Monday at a County Commission meeting. Mickey Whittington, chairman of the Industrial Development Authority, and an Atlantic Ethanol representative will address residents' concerns.

"They're concerned about pollution, noise, odor and wastewater," said Smith, who represents the Aiken Road area.

Smith, Whittington, and Wayne County Administrator Mike Deal were among a group from the county that recently visited a similar ethanol plant that Fagen Inc. built in Albert City, Iowa. Fagen is also building Georgia's first ethanol distillery in Camilla.

Based on a tour of the plant, Smith said Aiken Road residents have nothing to worry about, except for the growth that is already occurring in the area.

"From what I've seen, none of those things are going to be a problem," he said. "The plant we visited was clean, with very little odor."

The plant also controlled noise and dust and there was "no fallout," he said.

Smith said he did warn one woman who lives in the area there was no stopping growth. Some 200 new home sites in three new subdivisions already are being developed in Mount Pleasant. And the Industrial Development Authority has an option on 559 more acres adjacent to the ethanol plant site.u

"I told her that that end of the county is where all the growth is now," Smith said. "Those people who went out there to be in the country are not going to be in the country very long. …

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