PENDLETON — The Pendleton Town Council and Plan Commission each are sending letters to the Ingalls Board of Zoning Appeals in opposition to a resolution that would allow Newco Metals Inc. to add a second smelter on a property located at 7268 S. Indiana 13.
Though the property has a Pendleton address, it is located within the incorporated limits of Ingalls, and the Pendleton Town Council and Plan Commission do not have any jurisdiction.
Plan Commission member Brad Ballentine told the Town Council on Thursday that commission members were concerned that Newco stands at the gateway to Madison County.
“If you look at the town of Pendleton, we have no target areas for heavy commercial,” he said. “The impact of this plan is far-reaching … It will have long-term implications on the health, safety and development economically.”
Pendleton is one of several communities alarmed by the project Newco refers to as “Element 13.”
Opponents of the project said they are concerned about the 32 tons of volatile organic compounds and 75 tons of fine particulate matter expected to be discharged annually by the new facility; negative effect on property values; and inadequate protection of natural resources, such as land, clean air and water.
Documents from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management Office of Air Quality report the proper notification periods were offered to the public around 2015 and that no comments were received.
According to a letter sent in July to the town of Ingalls by Alex C. Intermill, who represents Newco through the Indianapolis-based law firm Bose, McKinney and Evans, Newco was prepared to move forward with the project within six months, pending approval of a land use variance by the BZA. Intermill also is the attorney for the Town of Pendleton.
According to the letter, the $12 million to $15 million project would create an estimated 26 jobs. It’s expected to be complete by January 2021.
The town of Ingalls in 2016 approved a 10-year tax abatement related to the Element 13 project.
“The abatement was conditioned on Element 13 filing the abatement with the Madison County Auditor within three years of the Council’s approval,” the letter said. “Due to unforeseen circumstances, Element 13 was not able to begin construction of the project as soon as expected.”
Town Council member Chet Babb said it would take a combined effort to stop Element 13. He said he had fielded phone calls from outside Pendleton on the matter.
“It has to be pushed even through the county,” he said. “It’s that important that we take this on now.”