VAN ALSTYNE — Just east of Van Alstyne off Willy Vester Road a concrete batch plant is slated to come into the community and neighbors aren't happy about it.

Correction: An earlier version of this article erred in the spelling of Marc Mahoney's given name.

VAN ALSTYNE — Just east of Van Alstyne off Willy Vester Road a concrete batch plant is slated to come into the community and neighbors aren't happy about it.

“The traffic out here will become enormous because of the capacity of this plant site,” resident Mike Mitchell said.

Lucky's Redi-Mix Co. LLC has applied for an Air Quality Standard Permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The potential plant will be located off Willy Vester just north of FM 3133, along a one-lane road.

Mitchell has a house about one-third of a mile down the road from the proposed plant and said he does not want to see it come in.

“Ballard Road and Willy Vester Roads are 16- to 18-foot wide and depending on where you look, it could be 3 inches to 4 inches thick,” he said. “A concrete truck can weigh approaching 80,000 pounds, so the road was not designed to support it.”

Along with the traffic Mitchell also has concerns over potential vehicle collisions.

“Another issue I have is there are school buses that use both roads and the road is not wide enough to support an oncoming concrete truck and an oncoming school bus. There is a number of blind curves on Willy Vester,” he said. “There is a number of blind hills on Ballard Road.”

While out at the proposed site, Van Alstyne Mayor Larry Cooper showed up to see it for himself.

“Well I'm a pretty good yard pacer,” Cooper said while walking along the road, “and there are places where it's narrower than 16 feet.”

While the proposed concrete site is well outside the Van Alstyne city limits it does lie in the city's extraterritorial jurisdiction, but that does not give Mayor Cooper much say in the matter.

Cooper said after looking at the roads he cannot support the company coming to this location.

“These roads aren't wide enough for both a large truck and anything else,” he said.

As of 6 p.m. Friday, the TCEQ website listed five public hearing requests had been received and seven public meeting requests had been received.

Mitchell said he submitted a letter to the TCEQ requesting a contested case hearing and public meeting.

According to the TCEQ website, residents have 15 days from the date the public notice was posted in the newspaper to submit public comments. The notice went out on Jan. 20 in the Van Alstyne Leader and residents have until Feb. 4 to submit comments to the TCEQ.

In order to request a hearing though, residents must live within 440 yards of the proposed plant. Mitchell does not.

Fellow neighbor Melvin Brown lives about 500 yards from the proposed plant. Around his living room table Brown, Mitchell and neighbor Brent Kennedy talked about their changing community.

“If you look out the front door you can see the tree line on the far side of the pasture across the road,” Brown said pointing out the window. “It's going to be just on the other side of those trees.”

Brown isn't referring to the concrete plant though — he's talking about the Navasota natural gas power plant.

Back in 2014, this same community was fighting the power plant from coming. Mitchell, Kennedy, and several other residents lost that fight.

According to the Navasota website, the plant should be operational in the 2017-2018 time frame.

Brown does not think it's a coincidence a concrete batch plant wants to move in so close to the power plant.

“I suspect this cement plant is to support that construction,” Brown said.

Owner and manager of Lucky's Redi-Mix Marc Mahoney said the reason he chose the area is because of the location and major growth in the area.

“I think there is a stigma to the concrete business,” he said. “Everybody thinks that it is really dirty.”

Emission at concrete batch plants are a fear for residents. Mitchell, Brown and Kennedy all said they don't want to see the air quality near their homes impacted. Brown suffers from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, which means his lungs don't get enough airflow.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency's website, particulate matter, consisting primarily of cement and pozzuolana dust, including some aggregate and sand dust emissions, is the primary pollutant of concern.

The EPA says the primary cause of emissions into the air are when cement and pozzuolana material is transferred to silos, and during this process a fabric filter is used to prevent particles from getting into the air.

Owner Mahoney said his company is under strict guidelines by the TCEQ.

“They have this thought that we emit all these gases and chemicals and dust, and it's just not true,” he said.

The concrete plant will consist of approximately 10-15 trucks Mahoney said, and they'll fill up about four to five times a day.

When asked about the road conditions and how the narrow one-lane road will support that many trucks going up and down on a daily basis, Mahoney said he would work with county officials to maintain the road.

“We have always worked very close with the counties to make sure the road is properly maintained. There is two ways in and two ways out,” Mahoney said, adding that the plant will use the one that would have the least impact.

This isn't Mahoney's first time to open a concrete plant and be faced with community opposition. He owns two other plants, one in Victoria and another in Elmendorf, just outside of San Antonio.

When the Victoria Lucky's opened Mahoney was met with a wave of disapproval and he faced a contested case hearing. The residents of that city didn't get their way and the concrete plant had its air quality permit approved.

The TCEQ website says, “issues such as property values, noise, traffic safety, and zoning are outside of the TCEQ's jurisdiction to consider in the permit process.”

Mitchell understands some of the issues he brings up won't be of use to the TCEQ.

“Those are the things that the TCEQ does not care about and they'll tell you they don't care about, and they are issues nonetheless,” he said.

At Tuesday's Grayson County Commissioners Meeting Mitchell is on the agenda to present his case to county commissioners regarding safety concerns over the proposed plant.