As most of you know, I am encouraging people to write additional letters to the County Supervisors prior to their January 6th meeting opposing the smelter and asking them to vote NO! I have posted some suggested issues for people to raise with them, to give everyone ideas on what to write. You can find this information at What you can do. I know of several letters that were sent last night. Below are just two of them. The first one was written by me and the second on, which this very well written, is from another resident. I will keep the identity confidential to protect her privacy.
First letter, sent December 17, 2019
Second letter sent December 17, 2019
This is a followup email in regard to my previous emails (this summer) regarding my concerns with bringing any sort of heavy industry – specifically the Alliance Metals aluminum smelter.
My husband and I are two of the community members (and homeowners) from Salome who attended the recent P&Z meeting held at the Centennial Community Center. We continue to have serious objections to having this smelter located in our area. In fact, we object to this smelter anywhere in LaPaz County where our first responder and emergency resources are very limited.
As I am sure you are aware, rumors run wild in our community that at least one of you is indirectly benefitting from the Wenden location of this smelter. I have a very hard time not believing these rumors and will be one of those who supports further thorough research into this issue. I know it may be difficult to divulge – but when you ignore the masses (our community) and plan to put your stamp of approval on this project regardless of the overwhelming desire of our citizens, there has to be an underlying reason for doing so. To be blunt – it definitely “smells fishy”.
If there is a second one of you who plans to support this smelter, then I feel I have to demand an explanation as to exactly why you feel that you must go against the overwhelming opposition of our community. What exactly makes you want to vote for something that “WE THE PEOPLE” reject so strongly? Again – it smells pretty fishy. Answers will be demanded.
And then, Ms. Irwin. It’s easy for you to vote “no” when you know that your vote will not matter. I would like (demand) you to face our community, in person, and also explain how it’s possible for the voices of the people to fall on deaf ears. If you support our community WE want to HEAR from you NOW before it’s too late. Help us to help ourselves. Your obligation is to US – not them.
I listened with an open mind to the presentation by the attorney for Alliance Metals. I was not one of the hecklers. Nothing they said convinced me that this smelter will be good for our community. To say that 2-7 trucks a day will be on our roads is quite contrary to the amount of work that we also were told to expect. To say that there will be someone from the county to continually monitor the operation to insure our safety – again a farce. There is no one who is qualified from this county to do that. And no one to respond appropriately and quickly should an emergency arise. I realize and do not care that ADEQ “signed off” on this project. They signed off on meeting minimum requirement as presented by a company that I feel is not providing factual reports to anyone. WE THE PEOPLE object to this project. The simple answer here is – The people do not want it and therefore you cannot put your plant in Wenden. Period. Again – you represent us. We do not feel that this smelter will benefit our community. Period. The Planning and Zoning Committee does not feel that this smelter will benefit our community. Period.
At the end of the P&Z meeting – the committee unanimously voted with the people and against Alliance Metals. Each committee member voiced the reasons for their vote. Their responses were in line with our concerns. This is not the appropriate location for such industry. HOW can you explain to me that you are so much better informed as to override both the P&Z committee as well as the people who reside here? Again – this smells fishy.
We have volunteer fire services. We do not have the emergency or medical personnel or facilities in our area (or in Parker) to support such industry. You are leaving us here feeling like lambs being held in a slaughter house. You are voluntarily destroying our future. I believe moving the smelter here is in essence a death warrant for our community. People will stop coming here. Our schools will suffer (not benefit from the pittance of money stated by Alliance), and our town will quite probably rapidly dwindle away. We will not grow and prosper. Our fate of hopelessness will be sealed by you – the people who were elected to represent US.
At this point I feel that we, the citizens of Western LaPaz County are being railroaded by the three of you. That you, for some reason, feel that you have the right to change our very lives for a single industry. I want you to fill in the blanks here and explain to me why you feel that you are smarter and wiser if you are choosing to vote “Yes” in favor of bringing this smelter to Wenden. We have a right to hear from you. And, last but not least: You may feel that this little community can just be disregarded. Do not misjudge us. We may be a population whose majority is winter residents – but we actually CARE about our community. Not only do we want this to be a place where our property values do not decrease and our quality of life remain the same or better, but we also contribute greatly to others here. WE are the ones who continue to support with participation and financial assistance for the betterment of this community. WE support our schools, local food banks, churches, workers and their families. WE are the ones demanding that you explain yourselves. We will not be silent.
Please respond. Please vote no. Please bring your meeting to the Centennial Community Center on January 6.
Sincerely and adamantly: