People Air Their Differences On Biomass Plant

By: Liza Park Email
By: Liza Park Email

Controversy and questions have been surrounding a proposed biomass plant in Tallahassee, and Wednesday night, people were given the chance to air their feelings at a public hearing.
The city hall chambers was crowded with concerned residents and the night wasn't short on opinions either.
The lines were drawn in green and yellow at the first public hearing dealing with a proposed biomass plant.
People in favor of a biomass plant, wherever it may be located, wore green stickers... and those against the plant ... wore yellow.
But the real division came when they took to the microphone.
"This is one of those projects that would be costly to lose, especially when... I want to say a silent majority doesn't speak up," says T.J. Lewis who supports the biomass plant.
"The neighborhood surrounding it will deteriorate and neighborhood deterioration equals city deterioration. You can't separate the two," says Lee Flowers who lives about half a mile from the proposed location of the plant and opposes it.
Most opposed to the plant say they're really against the proposed location of the plant... not the concept of a biomass plant.
The proposed plant is already in the Florida State University master plan and the biomass company BG&E says it's set to be built on state property... but that property located in a residential neighborhood on the southwest side of town.
"There are other sites and they're not on the south side and they're not close to a neighborhood," says Stanley Sims who opposes the plant being built on the south side of town.
"If we were going to locate in Tallahassee, we chose to do it at the site that's actually owned by the state and leased by FSU and then subleased to my company," explained Glenn Farris, the CEO of the biomass plant company BG&E.
Farris says this would be the first biomass plant BG&E has built... but he and his employees have been a part of companies that have previously built biomass plants.
The crowd at Wednesday night's public hearing was about 85 to 90 percent against the plant.

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