Expansion of Scott City railroad tie plant concerns city leaders, residents

North American Tie & Timber is looking to expand its business by treating railroad ties with creosote. (Source: Don Fraizer/KFVS)
North American Tie & Timber is looking to expand its business by treating railroad ties with creosote. (Source: Don Fraizer/KFVS)
Mayor Pro-Tem Brant says this is still in the very early stages, and there are a lot of steps the company will need to go through. (Source: Don Fraizer/KFVS)
Mayor Pro-Tem Brant says this is still in the very early stages, and there are a lot of steps the company will need to go through. (Source: Don Fraizer/KFVS)

SCOTT CITY, MO (KFVS) - An existing Scott City company, North American Tie & Timber wants to expand, and build a facility to treat railroad ties.

However, to do that they would be using some toxic chemicals, and they'd be using them right near the center of town.

A meeting was held in Scott City on Monday night, September 25 where residents voiced concerns about the expansion.

The proposed site for the building is between Main street and the railroad tracks.

Those chemicals, collectively, are called creosote.

The vapors can reportedly irritate the skin, damage the eyes, and, if ingested, can cause kidney or liver problems, unconsciousness, or even death.

The proposal even has Mayor Pro-Tem Norman Brant saying he doesn't want it in city limits - period.

Many residents echoed his sentiment.

"It's like having a dump right across the street," said Corwin Easley who works in Scott City.

The proposed plant would be across the street from homes, businesses, and downtown Scott City.

North American Tie & Timber is looking to expand its business by treating railroad ties with creosote.

"We're hoping with the pollution that they're going to put in our air, and the potential fire hazard that we can – they'll just stop. They won't come to town," said Mayor Pro-Tem Norman Brant.

Brant said the company's business manager Alvin Bates surprised him with the proposal.

"They asked for a building permit for storage building, but they sent us plans for a creosote plant. It was totally different," Brant said.

City council minutes from September 11 show Bates attended the meeting and said they plan to move forward.

Three Sons Automotive is just across the street from the proposed lot.

The owner said- he's not worried about the development and believes regulations will keep toxins out.

Easley works across the street as well, but sees things differently.

"I can imagine a lot of ramifications to property values in the area. People in this area considering moving if they were already along those lines. That being the end of it," Easley said.

Mayor Brant said- he hopes they can figure out a solution.

"This is a railroad town. I realize you've got to have tracks, and to hold the tracks you've got to have ties, but there's got to be places outside of city limits for this stuff. Not right in the middle of a town," Brant said.

Mayor Pro-Tem Brant said this is still in the very early stages, and there are a lot of steps the company will need to go through.

According to City Council Meeting minutes from September 11 - Bates said the plant would bring about 30 jobs to Scott City.

We reached out to Mr. Bates for comment, but were unable to leave a message.

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