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Residents Speak Out Against Proposed Cement Factory In Vallejo

VALLEJO (KPIX 5) -- A new cement factory promises to bring dozens of jobs to a Bay Area community plagued by blight. But some neighbors are saying, "not so fast."

Cement-maker Orcem wants to move into the old General Mills site in Vallejo across from Mare Island.

But local residents say this sort of project would never be built in nearby Sausalito and say it shouldn't be built in Vallejo.

They say they don't want to pay the price of having a cement factory near their homes and dealing with the pollution and disturbances it will create in their neighborhood.

"This is about our quality of life and a cement plant would only harm that," Vallejo resident LaDonna Williams said.

Under the proposal, the Mare Island Strait would be used to bring in shiploads of slag from Asia that would be then used to make cement.

"We will get the dust and the debris and the noise and the pollution," said resident Pat Dodson who lives near the site. "And they will get the money."

While Vallejo could use more jobs, Orcem says 30 well-paid jobs would be created by the plant.

But Peter Brooks, the founder of Fresh Air Vallejo said, "We need more than 30 jobs and we don't need jobs that are unhealthy, as working in a cement factory or living by a cement factory would be."

Residents say they're tired of their economic plight being used as an excuse to bring in businesses nobody else wants.

The planning commission will take up the issue sometime in February.

If it passes there, the city council would have a final vote to approve or reject the project.

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