Simmons Plant Causing Concerns for Locals

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DECATUR SIMMONS PLANT LLPKG.transfer_frame_374_1509155648362.jpg

A recent announcement of a new Simmons plant coming to Northwest Arkansas has one group upset. Some Benton County locals are opposing the 300-million dollar investment in their community and have started a petition to put a stop to it.

“Couldn’t believe it. Really didn’t think it would happen,” said Mary Jech, who lives across from the proposed processing plant.

Some locals who live near the new Simmons plant location are fighting back, saying the new plant will have adverse effects on their lives. 

“Environmental concerns, what is it going to do to our land? What is it going to do to our value of our home?” Jech said.

Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that the facility would bring over a thousand jobs to the area and be good for the economy 

“You increase the number of taxpayers and the tax base that helps our schools, that helps us to build roads,” Governor Hutchinson said.

But those we spoke with says this is a type of growth they don’t want and can’t support in the smalls towns. 

“If the people have even two kids, that would be a lot of kids adding to the schools of Gentry and Decatur,” said Sheila Bode, who also lives across from the proposed plant.

As Northwest Arkansas and business like Simmons continue to grow out, many in small towns like Gentry and Decatur say they want to keep their rural lifestyle. 

“It’s a small town lifestyle and putting anything that large out here is going to take away from the values that we hold true to our small town lifestyle,” said Derek Knight who lives near plant location.

Locals say their biggest concern is their health. 

“Liquid chlorination, and Hydros Amonia. Those things leech into the groundwater and affect the wells,” Knight said.

On its website, Simmons says,  “We believe in taking pride and ownership in our work. We are stewards of our environment, working to improve our business and communities.”

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