A special meeting of the La Paz County Board of Supervisors that was scheduled for Jan. 13 has been cancelled. The meeting was to have been held at the Bicentennial Community Center between Salome and Wenden. The board was going to discuss, hear comments on, and act on two matters regarding a proposed aluminum recycling smelter near Wenden.
Techocon International and its subsidiary, Alliance Metals, have requested an amendment to the county’s comprehensive plan and a zoning change to accommodate the smelter, which they want to build on property adjacent to the entry to Bicentennial Park. They want to change the zoning from Rural Agricultural to Industrial Planned Development.
Proponents of the smelter say they will bring needed jobs to the area and additional tax revenue for the county and local schools. They have said they will operate a safe and environmentally friendly facility. They said they have gone beyond the requirements for safety, pollution and hazardous materials.
Opponents have expressed concerns over toxic emissions and hazardous materials to be used in and produced by the smelting process. They are also concerned about heavy truck traffic on U.S. Route 60.
A meeting of the county Planning & Zoning Commission held Dec. 5 at the Bicentennial Community Center saw a parade of speakers who opposed the smelter. The commission voted to recommend the Supervisors not approve the change to the comprehensive plan or the zoning change.
As of press time, there was no word as to when the meeting would be rescheduled.