Council seeks public hearing on planned storage facility

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By Phyllis McLaughlin

Carrollton City Council decided Monday to pursue a public hearing request regarding a company’s plans to build a liquid-asphalt storage facility near the Kentucky River on land just south of Prestonville.

Mayor Dwight Louden sumbitted the request earlier this month to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Louisville in response to a notice of plans for the facility, to be built by Louisville Paving Company Inc.

Primarily, council wanted more specific information about the project and to address concerns about whether or not it will emit an odor into the city.

Bill Dougherty, president of Louisville Paving Company Inc., said the plan is to build a terminal with two storage tanks on an 80-acre piece of property located just south of the city. According to a map from the Corps of Engineers, the terminal will be located about 0.7 miles from the convergence with the Ohio River.

Dougherty said the tanks will hold between 2 million gallons and 2.5 million gallons each. He said construction costs have not been determined, but it likely will cost several million dollars.

He said the company hopes to start construction in the spring and complete the project next fall. He said once built, the terminal will receive shipments about twice a year. The liquid asphalt will be pumped into the storage tanks via an underground pipe.

The tanks will be idle most of the year, and the liquid asphalt will be cooled. When cooled, the substance is solid and odorless, he said.

From April to November, the months during which most projects requiring asphalt are under way, Dougherty said the liquid asphalt will be heated to about 275 degrees Fahrenheit so that it can be pumped into trucks and delivered to their various mixing plants.

He said even during those months, odor should not be a problem for residents. If it is, he said, the company can take steps to relieve it.

One of those plants is Ohio Valley Asphalt on State Hwy. 227, off Interstate 71. LPA is a minority owner of OVA.

The terminal will see about two or three trucks a day, and the trucks will access the terminal from the Interstate using State Hwy. 55. The facility, he said, will not increase truck traffic through town.

Dougherty also said that there is no risk that delivery of the liquid asphalt from the barges will have any environmental impact on the Kentucky River and the vicinity.

Pam Loeffler, the Corps project manager for the terminal facility, was unavailable for comment Tuesday by press time.

Greg McKay, a project manager for the Army Corps, spoke about the process for public hearings, but said he wasn’t familiar with the specifics of the Prestonville project.

He said public hearings for Army Corps projects are rare.

“We have to determine a need for a public hearing,” he said. “We don’t routinely hold them, except for us to gather information not known to us. It takes a lot of expense and time and effort for us to hold one.”

He said the Army Corps also isn’t required to send public notice to anyone but adjacent property owners and anyone who has requested to be on its mailing list for such notices. If local city government entities are not on the mailing list, he said, it’s possible a notice would not be sent.

He said the Corps also is not required to publish public notices in the paper for any county in which it has a project.

On Oct. 22, Dougherty  sent a letter to Louden requesting that the city drop its request for a public hearing. On Tuesday, he explained that he prefers not to have a hearing, because “obviously, you get people in there and they can get rancorous.”

He added that for the Army Corps to grant a request for a public hearing, “they need a beter reason than, ‘I just don’t like it.’ ... I don’t think there’s any need for it.”

However, he said he believes the Corps considering scheduling a hearing before Thanksgiving. If so, he said, he will be available to answer any questions.