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Residents say no to power plant

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Ellis County Press
RED OAK - Residents of Red Oak and surrounding areas packed the small council chambers and spilled out into the rainy night during Monday's meeting. Their message was plain: No to a proposed power plant.

Red Oak Industrial Development Corporation Director Todd Fuller gave a multi-media presentation outlining the benefits of the proposed plant.

'Staff was contacted by Avista-Steag before the end of the year about a facility in the Red Oak ETJ,' Fuller began.

'They came to us as a city, they have their site picked out. They are looking to be a good neighbor.'

Fuller said the project is a joint venture between Houston-based utilities and technology company Avista, and Steag, the largest independent power producer in Germany.

'It is important to note that Avista-Steag could have gone without the city's blessing,' Fuller said.

'Staff has asked Avista-Steag to voluntarily annex. This will help us control the development.'

Fuller indicated it was his belief the company would build a quality plant without the city's supervision.

'But it is a good idea for the city to maintain control,' he said.

Residents called out comments during Fuller's presentation, causing Mayor Todd Little to pound his gavel on the bench.

'We have volunteered our time and we would appreciate it if you would respect us like we are respecting you,' Little said.

One citizen agreed with Little in part. 'Let Fuller speak,' said Sharon Cotton. 'Then give everybody in this room a chance to speak.'

Little said according to the city's charter, only two representatives from the extra-territorial jurisdiction would be allowed to speak, for 10 minutes each.

'Every citizen of Red Oak can speak for three minutes,' he continued. 'That is what the Robert's Rules of Order says.

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