Shingles maker cancels plans to build plant in Anderson
Anderson resident celebrate asphalt shingle plant’s cancellation
ANDERSON, Ind. (WISH) — Anderson residents celebrated Monday night at a community meeting after finding out a potential industrial project slated for their community was canceled just before their gathering.
The project would have brought Malarkey Roofing Products to Anderson to make asphalt roofing tiles.
Mayor Thomas J. Broderick sent an email to News 8 and stakeholders in the project just before 5 p.m. Monday that said “both the city and Malarkey recognize that another location would be preferable.”
Marlene Carey, a leader for the opposition group Residents for Better Choices was pleased with the decision, citing health concerns, and potential traffic and pollution.
“We know what kind of chemicals and toxins they are able to emit; many tons of these toxic chemicals every year,” Carey said. “We’ve also seen the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) reports that show their emissions have been increasing over the last five years.”
Jason Webster lives less than a mile from the former plant site. He wants the area to be preserved the way it is.
“It’s kind of heartbreaking. As you saw on my property out there, I feel like we’ve got a hidden little gem in Madison County, where we’re all located,” Webster said. “The first thing I’m going to worry about is what it’s going to do to the creek, the pond, and all the wildlife over there.”
Others argue Anderson needs the jobs, but the opposition group said these jobs are not worth it.
Carey said, “While our group of people that have organized are supportive of bringing jobs into the community and we are definitely supportive of development, we want to make sure that that development is safe.”
The meeting organizers still gathered Monday night with James Rybarczyk, an environmental chemist, to educate the community in case of future projects.
The Democrat mayor shared that Malarkey will consider a site outside of Madison County for its project. It is unclear if Anderson will go forward with the land annexation this project would have required.
Email from Mayor Broderick
“First, thank you all for your efforts to take all steps necessary to properly review and study the appropriateness of a potential new company for our community. Thanks to the Malarkey team for considering our community for your newest expansion. As everyone knows the location of this plant, on primarily what would become a newly annexed area into our city, has come under a substantial amount of scrutiny by many of our neighbors located in the areas close to the proposed site. I have received more email and communication regarding this matter than any prior potential project. For the most part, the emails and inquiries were fair in their questions and concerns. The Malarkey team have made themselves available for answers and they made their Oklahoma plant available for inspection and review. I appreciate the reports back from our city council members ,who took the time to go to Oklahoma to see this plant for themselves, and from the County/City economic team who also visited this site. There is no question that all involved have put forth their best efforts in reviewing all aspects of this project with an eye toward making the best decision for the overall good of our community at large, including those nearby the proposed site.
“We in the City of Anderson are always looking for positive opportunities for our community that will provide for new, good paying jobs, growth, and an expansion of our taxbase, which aids in holding down of taxes for everyone. One the other hand we are always concerned about whether a particular project will have an overall positive or negative impact on our community for the long run. Not every business enterprise, regardless of its positive attributes, is a good fit for every city. It is not always easy, at the beginning of a proposed project, for either the companies or communities involved to be certain without significant vetting and review, as to whether a company will be a good fit. Because of the need to annex in this case, that process got in front of the ongoing selection process. Based on my review and briefings of all information to date, it is clear that both the city and Malarkey recognize that another location would be preferable. The company has advised that they are still considering an alternative site, outside of our county, as a potentially preferred site. I concur with that position and would ask that appropriate steps be taken to end the unnecessary speculations about the location of this plant at the proposed site in our community.
“If there are any questions in this regard, please feel free to contact me. Because of the breadth of this matter, I felt an email was appropriate to outline my thoughts as we move forward.
“Thank you again for all efforts, information, and actions in this matter.”
Anderson Mayor Thomas J. Broderick, a Democrat