Fertilizer Plant Chooses Lee County; Some Wonder If ‘NIMBY’ Is To Blame

After months of debating zoning issues, the biggest single capital investment in state history, plans for a massive 1.3 billion dollar fertilizer plant project, has fled Scott County. Along with it goes an estimated 250 full-time jobs and millions of dollars in much-needed tax revenue.

“It’s an incredible opportunity missed, and I’m extremely disappointed with that,” says Tom Sunderbruch of the Scott County Board of Supervisors.

Many people believe that fertilizer plant project fell victim to NIMBY syndrome, otherwise known as ‘Not In My Backyard.’

Scott County’s not alone though. Just last night East Moline leaders voted down a zoning change that would have brought in a trucking depot.

Property owners near the proposed location didn’t want the depot as their new neighbors.

“The pollution of it, the noise pollution is not going to be good if it’s 24 hours a day,” says homeowner Lory DuPrey.

East Moline Mayor John Thodos is well versed in issues like this. Most notably the Triumph Foods Project that would have brought 2,500 union jobs, to his city, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax revenue every year.

A number of factors have left the project hanging in limbo, one of them: a vocal group of property owners saying Not In My Backyard.

“We only have so many resources, and if you don’t want AG, or you don’t want this or you don’t want that then the community has to say OK what do you want and in realistic terms,” says Thodos.

He adds says it’s one thing to complain about unemployment, but it’s another to push jobs and economic development away because they’re too close to home. Proving you can’t always have your cake and eat it too.

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