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Howard County Judge Wants To Hear More About Possible Nuclear Facility

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By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

BIG SPRING - For the last couple of weeks, people in Howard County have been talking about the possibility of nuclear facility in their backyard.  The independent group proposing the idea, AFCI, told residents who attended town hall meetings to ask their commissioners and county judge to ask more on the matter.

Well, it seems that there could possibly be a meeting between AFCI and County Commissioners. NewsWest 9 talked to County Judge Mark Barr who said they need to know more of this project before they can give a go ahead.

"We had a group come to us, AFCI came to us and asked us if we would be interested our reaction is, well we don't know we need more information," Barr said. 

More information is what Barr is requesting from the independent group AFCI. He says he talked to commissioners individually and they agreed that they need to know more about this project before they can make any recommendations.

"I am not a nuclear physicist so I don't know anything about this and I have to rely on the experts. We heard one side of it, I would like to hear the other side and see what they have to say and then make an educated judgement on that," Barr said. 

Barr says he's open to any ideas and says having a nuclear plant in Howard County could possibly be beneficial to their residents. The facility would be built in phases, the first part would be the storage and minimal hiring would be done. However, most of the hiring would be done in the second phase.

"I understand where really a lot of the jobs are, they are really well paying jobs cause you know they are very high tech jobs. That's where most of your benefit would come from in the reclamation part of that," Barr said.  

Judge Barr says that with the good comes the bad and he does have some concerns about having a nuclear site in Howard County.

"I understand that they are highly radioactive. They are level one or whatever they call them at that time, so that's a risk you have to take, there is no 100 percent guarantee that something won't happen and that's what we have to look at," Barr said.  

Judge Barr says that although there are other things on his priority list, he would like to meet with AFCI in the near future.

"I don't think there's just a huge emergency about it but maybe within the next month or two," Barr said.