BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The proposed concrete plant in the Five Points West community that has faced stiff opposition could be built somewhere else.
"Sherman Industries will not be coming to the Five Points West community,” Mayor Randall Woodfin said during Tuesday’s city council meeting.
Mayor Woodfin was responding to a letter from Councilor Steven Hoyt asking for the mayor’s help to prevent Sherman Industries from building a concrete batch plant in the Five Points West community. When asked to elaborate on what he said, the mayor’s spokesperson says “the mayor’s comment stands on its own."
Sherman industries tells us it is considering other locations for the plant. It’s welcomed news to people who live in Oakwood Place. The proposed concrete plant would be built just blocks away from their neighborhood.
"We admire our mayor.. Mayor Woodfin for standing up and saying to... I don’t want to say this word... I want to say the big boys… and said that I’m going to listen to what those residents are saying... it’s not coming there,” Nell Allen, of the Oakwood Place neighborhood association said.
The plant has faced strong opposition from the city and community because of potential environmental concerns. Last week, a handful of neighborhoods came together each wearing a mask in protest. They feel their health would be at stake if the plant is built near them.
"This concrete plant would have provided more toxicity to an area that is already overridden with toxic waste and pollution,” Connie Watson, another member of the Oakwood Place neighborhood association said.
We received this statement from Jeff Sieg, a spokesperson for Sherman Industries parent company:
“Sherman Industries intends to continue working with the city and the community to improve everyone’s understanding of the scope of our project and trying to identify a mutually acceptable solution at Fayette Avenue in Five Points West, or possibly an equally viable location that is, like the Fayette Avenue site, properly zoned for this business.
The company has been doing business in the Birmingham area for many decades and remains committed to continuing to run our facilities in a safe and environmentally responsible manner and supplying our customers in the market with high-quality ready mixed concrete.”
There’s a public hearing set for next month about the project. No word yet if today’s news will impact that. We’ll keep you updated.