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The planning commission for the Town of Strasburg approved plans to bring an asphalt plant to Strasburg Thursday. The commission voted 3-1 in favor, with one member abstaining.
The proposed plant still needs a special use permit from the Town Council that will allow asphalt production.
The plan to create the plant, which would be owned by the Strasburg-based company Kickin’ Asphalt, has drawn scrutiny over citizen concerns that it would bring air and sound pollution near a residential area. Representatives from Kickin’ Asphalt responded to these criticisms during the planning commission meeting and advertised the new plan as an economic benefit to the town.
The representatives described the sound produced by the plant as minimal and said that air pollution would not be a problem, largely because of existing state and federal emissions regulations.
The representatives advertised that the plant would bring in new jobs. They also said that the Town of Strasburg, by allowing Kickin’ Asphalt to create the asphalt plant, would no longer have to pay the state of Virginia any money for the Strasburg business park.
The planning commission mostly agreed with the assessment of the Kickin’ Asphalt representatives. Robert Flanagan, chair of the planning commission, said he visited four asphalt facilities and found the air and sound pollution minimal.
“From my observation, I can understand…the concerns, but I do not think it is particularly a problem,” Flanagan said.
The one dissenting voice, Hank Dean, was concerned about the potential sound the trucks would make. Asphalt trucks would be going to and from the plant between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. at night throughout much of the year.
“Seventy-five trips a day in and out of there,” Dean said, “The noise level that that’s going to create. …I would not want to live there,”
Dean also expressed concerns about an 80-foot tower at the plant, which he said could be seen from the nearby residential area.
“You’re not going to be able to grow trees tall enough to block the view of that,” Dean said.
One member of the commission, Vincent Poling, abstained from voting and speaking during the meeting. He is the chair of the Shenandoah County Industrial Development Authority Board.
The plan moves forward now to a public hearing at a working session, before the Strasburg Town Council eventually votes on it. Wyatt Pearson, town manager for Strasburg, expects the plan to be discussed at a working session on June 6, with a final vote on the June 13 Strasburg Town Council meeting.
<p id=’reporter_info’>Contact staff writer Max Lee at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or <a href=’mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org’>email@example.com</a></p>