A STATEMENT BY COUNCILMAN WADE KACH:
11th HOUR ROYAL FARMS PROPOSAL COMES UP EMPTY
For the last four months, I have repeatedly asked Royal Farms for a detailed covenant that would protect the people and businesses of Hereford in the event of an oil spill. ONLY LAST NIGHT AT 7:26PM, did I receive a proposed draft of a covenant which was purportedly intended to satisfy my long standing concerns.
While it could have been the basis of a meaningful document after consultation with experts and negotiation involving all interested parties, the eleventh hour proposal did not provide nearly enough time to do so.
I am very angry that Royal Farms waited so long to take action to address these serious concerns. It shows a lack of good faith on their part.
Everyone, supporters and opponents to the Royal Farms CZMP issue number 3-007, have known all along about my stated concern about the health, safety, and welfare of the people of Hereford in the event of an oil spill. Royal Farms’ last minute and half measured attempt to offer a covenant is nothing but a PR stunt to cover for their own failure to follow my clear and repeated advice.
I am very angry that Royal Farms would stoop to this level when it comes to the safety and security of the Hereford community which they claim to care so much about.
I have seen FIRSTHAND what happens to a community that is not properly protected in the event of a spill. The town of Jacksonville is still recovering from the spill which took place ten years ago. I cannot in good conscience allow Hereford to be left similarly unprotected.
While Royal Farms has made public assurances that their proposed safety measures to prevent a spill would be the most advanced to date, the fact remains, because of the possibility of human error and the risk of technological malfunction, that there is no oil spill safeguard that is 100 percent guaranteed. Just ask the many residents and businesses in Jacksonville who have still not been made whole ten years since the spill.
This is why a covenant clearly spelling out protections for residents and businesses was so important for this issue. Because of Royal Farms’ inaction, I have downzoned the property to prevent Royal Farms from constructing a gas station.