Residents voicing concerns about LG battery plant development in Queen Creek
QUEEN CREEK, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - On the corner of Ironwood and Germann Road in Queen Creek, cows are grazing. But that could soon be a much different sight. Three hundred acres of the land could be the new site of an LG battery plant expected to bring more than 2,000 jobs and economic impacts like tax revenues to Queen Creek.
The land is in Queen Creek, but just a couple of hundred feet south is San Tan Valley, where some people are frustrated about the development.
Vicki Baack has lived in the area for ten years, and she feels Queen Creek didn’t consider the surrounding neighborhoods. A petition created online has more than 1,700 signatures in hopes of slowing down project plans and letting residents have a say.
“At least involve the people who live here a chance to have a voice. It’s frustrating for someone who lives a half-mile from the land to not have a voice,” Baack said. “There have been a lot of articles we have uncovered this weekend that have illustrated the danger of factories in nearby neighborhoods. They are having fires; there are explosions. These are lithium-ion batteries and are not safe to be in a community like this.
Arizona’s Family reached out to the Queen Creek Council to find out if there were efforts to get input from neighboring communities. In a statement, a spokesperson said: “We are unable to release details on potential economic development projects at this time.”
“I want jobs here too. I want people to move to the city and town and have an amazing quality of life,” Baack said. “What we don’t want are factories that could be potentially dangerous for our families and kids and loved ones.”
Baack feels this could also take away from their quiet, tight-knit community with schools nearby. “It changes the dynamic of the community. A factory that is going to pollute the community that is dangerous and add traffic and noise. We don’t know what we’re getting when you have an industrial park, and truly, I’m afraid if we have one factory, the whole place will be industrial, and that’s what we’re scared of.”
The Arizona State Land Department will conduct an auction Tuesday, April 19. The starting bid for the land is $84.44 million. If it is successfully bought, construction could begin this year with a completion date of 2024.
“We have a beautiful view of the Superstition Mountains, and that is down on the list, but it’s one of the things we will lose that too,” Baack said. “I would ask them to think about other ways to get revenue off of this land and do it in a way that is in harmony with everyone who lives here.”
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to correct the number of signatures the online petition has.
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