August 28, 2014

Elyria
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Limestone factory may be constructed elsewhere in Lorain

LORAIN – A controversial plan to locate a limestone grinding factory near downtown Lorain has been abandoned, and the plant instead is slated for the Colorado Avenue industrial park.

Oglebay Norton Co. of Cleveland originally had wanted the plant near the Black River on Henderson Drive, but City Council made it clear that the amount of slow-moving truck traffic would become a safety hazard andwould be bad for those residential roads.

Tony Giardini, an attorney representing the company, said one of the benefits of having the plant in the new location is that the building will be so low, residents won`t be able to see it.

The plant will sit about 150 yards across the river from U.S. Steel and about 1,800 yards away from the nearest house, Giardini said.

It will create about 12 to 14 jobs, city planner Chris Bauer said.

“There won`t be any problems with the plant moving to this location,” Bauer said.

Still, residents of the city`s eastside aren`t ready to embrace their prospective new neighbor, according to Melanie Szabo, who was elected to the 1st Ward City Council seat, which represents those residents.

Szabo said the residents still have concerns about traffic and dust blowing onto their homes and vehicles from the piles of ground limestone that will sit on the property.

“I need more information,” she said. “I still don`t know whether it`s good for the city or the 1st Ward, but the general consensus in the 1rd Ward is that it`s not wanted.”

Mike Settles, spokesman for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, said EPA guidelines are so stringent in this matter that the only way those concerns would be realized is if the company chose to completely disregard all regulations.

Giardini said that in the new location, the nearest house will receive maybe a tablespoon of dust on it each year.

The company hopes to present the finalized plans to Lorain`s Zoning Board of Appeals and then City Council for approval before the end of the year. That means current 1st Ward Councilman David Wargo, and not Szabo, will be the one voting on it. Wargo said he has not yet made a decision on the plant.
Contact Adam Wright at 653-6257 or awright@chroniclet.com