A West Dallas concrete plant near the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge will move to a new location despite strong opposition from the plant's new neighbors at a Dallas City Council meeting Wednesday.
In a sharply divided 8-to-6 vote, the council approved a $2.5 million city grant to build a rail spur for the new 2900 West Commerce Street location for the Argos plant.
The future site, a few miles away from the current one, is very close to Edison Middle School and a neighborhood of single-family homes.
"We should improve neighborhoods without having the other neighborhoods pay for it," said Councilman Scott Griggs in support of the opponents.
"To the area that is struggling to come up, we're going to take the weight of the city and push it down that much more, and I just don't think that is morally right," Councilman Mark Clayton said.
In return for the city money, the company promises to build a much cleaner concrete production facility at the new location. Supporters said the move will help the new Trinity Groves development near the old plant, boost the city's tax base and will not harm the new plant's neighborhood.
Councilman Lee Kleinman said the company is replacing a 1972 plant with 2015 technology.
"We are seeing almost 80-percent reduction in emissions. That's not only good for West Dallas, that's good for all of Dallas," he said.
Instead of pushing concrete production to the fringes of the city, Kleinman said plants need to remain close to the urban center where delivery is needed to reduce diesel exhaust. The new location is close to Interstate 30 to reduce travel time.
"It's going to be much cleaner, much better, and we're opening the way in West Dallas for economic growth," said Councilman Rickey Callahan.
The Trinity Groves development near the old plant is a restaurant destination now, but apartments and shops are under construction, and the plant is considered an eyesore. The Trinity Groves developers will purchase the old plant site.
Councilwoman Monica Alonzo, who represents West Dallas, made the motion to approve the deal.
"I know it's good for Dallas, Texas. I know that there's concerns, but those concerns were addressed," Alonzo said.
West Dallas community activist Debbie Solis, with the Voice of Hope organization, led neighborhood opposition Wednesday to the relocation that helps Trinity Groves.
"This is for other people to come in. That's fine. That's revenue for the city. But what they need to understand is there's a voice here that's not being heard and it's the poor people," Solis said. "My community is just seeing it from the outside because they can't afford it. The person that lives here cannot afford to go there."