(Paducah, May 23, 2011) - The McCracken Fiscal Court decided not to rezone a portion of West McCracken to allow a coal transfer station to locate there. Judge Van Newberry became "The Decider" as he cast the vote that sealed the fate of the rezoning request.
Southern Coal Corporation and Secure Energy sought to have a section of West McCracken rezone. It was not the first time Southern Coal has looked to the site. They lost a previous move for rezoning. Secure Energy, a coal liquification plant, joined Southern Coal and promised good paying jobs if they could secure funding to locate in the area.
Residents joined unlikely allies of the Sierra Club, Harrah's Casino and the City of Metropolis in opposing the change. Residents mentioned a dropping value of their homes and health issues. The Sierra Club argued that the change would pollute rivers in the region. Harrahs feared their customers would be turned off by coal dust on their vehicles. The City of Metropolis argued that their riverfront would suffer if coal dust blew over their way.
In the end, the McCracken Fiscal Court decided that fifty jobs with Southern Coal and 100 potential jobs with Secure Energy wasn't worth losing 200 residences, Harrah's Casino and making an enemy of their neighbor across the river.