In a public meeting held on December 17th, Skip Becker of the La Paz County Economic Development Corporation announced “the single largest investment ever in the Town of Parker!”
Becker announced a $25 million hemp processing facility to be built by the Calyxar Group in Parker South on property that is already zoned for industry. (What a concept!) The investment is expected to create 99 jobs with an annual average salary of $65,000. He further said that the tax input is estimated at $1.5 million each for the Town of Parker and La Paz County in the first three years. For the state, it will be $3.3 million. Even Sonny Borrelli, our state senator, attended and showed support.
Becker said the company believes in openness and complete transparency. He said public meetings will be held to provide answers to residents’ questions and to provide publicity for the project.
While I don’t know much about hemp processing I have to think that it is a less dangerous process and less polluting than an aluminum smelter!
Adversely, there was no big announcement, no community meetings, no answers, absolutely nothing, when Alliance Metals decided to buy in Wenden to build an aluminum smelter and endanger McMullen Valley. In comparison, Alliance claims to want to invest $10 million, or $30 million, depending on which article you believe and bring about 30 (toxic and dangerous) jobs which pay from $13.50 to $25 per hour in Wenden and Salome. They further state that they will generate over $71,000 in taxes per year. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE!
The hypocrisy of Parker welcoming a hemp processing facility, that apparently will positively impact the economy while Wenden and Salome fight a smelter, is mind staggering. Why do we not deserve the same treatment? Why was this project snuck in on us? Maybe in an attempt to make sure we knew nothing until it was too late? Why does the La Paz Economic Development Corp. think so little of us as to bring us their garbage and then try and hide it?
This is all brought to us by LPEDC, Skip Becker and D.L. Wilson!
We need to continue to let the county know that we are not second class citizens desperate for any crumbs we can get. We do not want the smelter here. We do not trust Alliance and their claims. The actions of LPEDC are outrageous and the arrogance of treating this community in this way is simply not acceptable…and that the county is even considering this project in the valley is disappointing.
Take a few minutes if you haven’t already, to review our “What can you do?” page and review the actions steps that you can take to help prevent this project from happening.