Poly-America Inc.'s controversial effort to establish a Henderson, Nev., polyethylene film extrusion facility cleared the city council on a 3-1 vote Sept. 4.
The company expects to invest $45 million in construction and equipment and begin operations in about a year, Bob Cooper, the city's economic development manager, said in a telephone interview.
Poly-America affiliate Poly-West Inc. agreed to conditions relating to operations on vacant industrial land in Henderson's Mission Hills area and overcame numerous questions about noise, traffic and safety from neighboring residents and city regulators.
Poly-West can proceed with plans to build a 384,700-square-foot facility on 45.4 acres.
Poly-America had acquired the sloping Henderson site in 1994 and had intended to begin construction in 1999. Another plant in Columbia, S.C., was to follow. But March 21 and July 25 meetings with Henderson neighbors led to plan revisions.
Poly-West agreed to position the building 60 feet closer to a main road and further from residences. Also, the firm agreed to excavate into the hillside to lower the plant's floor elevation by up to 25 feet. As a result, some hilltop residents will retain their views. The excavation could cost $250,000, Cooper said.
Poly-West told the city that operations could include about 375 tractor-trailer trips per month and weekly rail deliveries involving perhaps 75 boxcars monthly.
The site's Union Pacific Railroad Co. siding will ease material movement, but Poly-West agreed not to unload railcars between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Poly-West will install and maintain an irrigated, landscaped and lighted 30-foot-wide corridor with a 10-foot-wide asphalt trail on the neighbors' side of the railroad right of way. The company's 2,000-foot-long segment will fit into a regional network of hiking and biking trails now being developed.
Poly-West's conditional-use permit allows for 32 resin-storage silos, each up to 75 feet in height, but the permit will lapse in two years if the operation is not established. The city code limits structures to a height of 50 feet.
The city planning staff recommended approval of the project, and the planning commission concurred Aug. 16 in a 5-1 vote. But a resident had appealed the decision Aug. 20, sending the matter to the city council.
About 75 residents, virtually all opposed to the project, attended the council meeting.
Nearby plants were built about 20 years ago, prior to most of the residential development.
A city council rejection would have stopped the Poly-West project for at least one year, which is the minimum waiting period for an applicant wanting to resubmit a plan.
Poly-America Vice President George M. Hall represented the company in its dealing with the Henderson community.
The company projects initial employment of 100 and a maximum of 500 at the plant's full production in seven or eight years, Cooper said.
Founded in 1976, the privately held group of Poly-America companies includes the namesake film extrusion business and headquarters in Grand Prairie, Texas; film extruder Up-North Plastics Inc. of Cottage Grove, Minn.; and material reprocessor Pol-Tex International of Mont Belvieu, Texas.
End products include PE construction film, trash bags and Poly-Flex Inc. smooth and textured geomembrane lining systems.
Plastics News estimates the group employed more than 1,200 and had 2000 sales of $190 million.