Zinc recycling facility proposed for Cass County Agri Business Park

One of the items on the agenda for the Cass County Commissioners at their meeting on Monday, March 2 was an economic development agreement for a project in the Cass County Agri Business Park near Clymers.

“We did announce that we have an economic development agreement with a company to come out to the Clymers area,” Commissioner Jim Sailors said March 4 on “Talk of the Town” on WSAL. “We have entered into an agreement with them to say that we are ok with them coming to the community and they would like to come to the community.”

The Pharos-Tribune posted a guest column by Nigel Morrison, director of Waelz Sustainable Products, on its website on March 11.

The column states that “Waelz Sustainable Products (WSP) is excited to announce our proposal to partner with Cass County and the State of Indiana to build a new, state-of-the-art zinc recycling facility in the Cass County Agri Business Park west of Logansport. Our initial $75 million investment will create 60 good-paying jobs and be a catalyst for economic development in the surrounding area. A second phase to the WSP project promises to add up to an additional 30 jobs and $35 million investment. “

According to the column, more information about the company is available at wspcasscounty.com.

The company’s website includes a 17-page PDF of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for the Cass County project.

“Is this the same facility WSP tried to build in Muncie?” is one of the questions answered on page 6 of the FAQ:

“We originally chose Muncie as a site for this potential project with the full support of the City of Muncie — including a unanimous vote of approval from the Muncie City Council —and the State of Indiana. We made every effort to engage in meaningful dialogue with community leaders, address the concerns of residents and make this project a reality. Unfortunately, a campaign of misinformation tainted the process and ultimately made it impossible to move forward with the project.

Knowing that we are an asset to our communities and that our sound technology benefits the environment, we have now chosen to locate our facility in a community that is receptive to learning the facts about the facility and welcoming us as a good neighbor. This FAQ is one of many steps we are taking to start a dialogue on the facts about this facility and the benefits it brings to Cass County for any stakeholder interested in learning more.”

The FAQ also indicates on page 6 that the State of Indiana and Cass County have offered incentives to help the project move forward. It states that Cass County has offered the project developer-backed Tax Increment Finance (“TIF”) support.

According to page 12 of the FAQ, “lead emissions are anticipated to be 0.2 – 0.3 tons per year.” The FAQ says this level is below the expected air permit limit of 0.5 tons per year.

The FAQ also states on page 12 that “the facility is also expected to emit about half a pound of mercury daily (~185 pounds per year).

The Cass County Commissioners meet again at 9 a.m. Monday, March 16. The Cass County Redevelopment Commission, which oversees the county’s TIF funds, is scheduled to hold its regular monthly meeting at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 18.