By Sylvia Gonzalez
BIG SPRING - A town hall meeting was held Friday in Big Spring, the topic? Building a nuclear waste facility in Howard County. While the project could help grow the economy, there are some people with concerns.
One of them is the Mayor, he says he just found out about the project less than 24-hours ago. Although he doesn't know much about it yet, he does have some concerns over how this might affect the reputation of the city.
"My concern is that the city of Big Spring and Howard County is protected from loss of value of property and homes and a bad name given to the community," Mayor Duncan said.
Duncan says that before a final go-ahead can be given, he needs to do some research on the negative effects of having a facility of this type in their backyard. According to A-F-C-I Texas, the independent group proposing the facility, it would cost in the area of $154 million and IT would be built on 1,000 acres. Once approved, it could take anywhere from six to eight years to complete all of the licenses that would be required.
However, Mayor Duncan wants to get some answers for himself.
"I want to do a lot of research in the near future. I will be calling other cities and communities that have these types of facilities and find out what they went through if there was initial loss of property value," Duncan said.
Our neighboring state of new Mexico is thinking of bringing in the same facility. As a matter of fact, they have already reserved 1,000 acres between Carlsbad and Hobbs where it could be built.
According to a member from A-F-C-I Texas if the site goes to New Mexico, it will still be close to our borders, however, we would not reap the economic benefit.
After explaining that to one Cross Road resident she believes it's better if the facility stayed in the Lone Star State.
"Texas could use some more revenue though that's the thing we could use it. If they would use it for roads and anything else, that would be super," Big Spring Resident, Rosaleen Hector, said.
Others say no matter what the economic impact, each step should be weighed very carefully.
"That's something that we would have to be real careful with. I don't know a whole lot about the technology but nuclear storage is potentially dangerous so I think we have to be very careful about what we do," Big Spring resident, Ron Cohorn, said.
Everything is still in the preliminary stages and officials in charge would like for Big Spring residents to ask more questions. That way, they could become more informed on the possibility of a used fuel storage facility being built in Howard County.