Bonham residents riled about asphalt plant plan - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Bonham residents riled about asphalt plant plan

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Leslie Kolhoff fears that a proposed asphalt plant in her neighborhood would bring health risks. (KTEN) Leslie Kolhoff fears that a proposed asphalt plant in her neighborhood would bring health risks. (KTEN)
Residents of the Katy Creek Retirement Village say they're opposed to plans for an asphalt plant nearby. (KTEN) Residents of the Katy Creek Retirement Village say they're opposed to plans for an asphalt plant nearby. (KTEN)

BONHAM, Texas -- An asphalt company wants to build a new plant in Fannin County to support the US 82 expansion project.

But neighbors of the plant's proposed location told KTEN they are concerned about potential health and safety risks.

"You don't put that kind of chemical plant next to people who are sick and elderly," said Leslie Kolhoff, who lives at the nearby Katy Creek Retirement Village.  After battling illness for years, she fears another fight is just beginning.

"I have survived a toxic event to my body. I do suffer now with sarcoidosis, and now they want to bring those chemicals to my front door," she said.

Fellow residents at the retirement home also expressed their concerns, fearing they would be shut in or forced to move.

"It scares me, and I know it scares everyone around here right now," said Karen Schmidt. "I just don't think people understand we don't have nowhere to turn... we don't have nowhere to go."

"We don't mind them being here, we just want them somewhere else," added Robert Dooley.

Austin Bridge & Road, the company that wants to build the asphalt plant, selected the location because it is close to the highway, with easy access to power and a natural gas line.

At a meeting on Wednesday, Fannin County leaders said this isn't yet a done deal.

There will be another public forum at Commissioners Court next Tuesday, and all Fannin County residents are invited to voice their concerns.

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