Milam County residents believe coal-fired power plants will be beneficial Watch Video
Updated: Dec 14, 2006 7:12pm
Proposed coal-fired power plants in McLennan and Robertson counties have been hotly debated issues recently.
Some supporters said the extra energy is needed, while critics argue pollution from the plants hurts the environment.
However, some people in Milam County believe a proposed T.X.U. plant there could mean a big economic boost.
T.X.U. wants to put a second power plant at the Alcoa Rockdale operations site.
Right now, plans are on hold until the federal courts give the go ahead for T.X.U. to use Alcoa’s existing air quality permit.
Several businesses in the Milam county town of Rockdale, said the proposed 600 megawatt facility, named Sandow 5, could generate more money for the local economy.
Denice Doss with the Rockdale Chamber said, "Anytime we can get more sales tax that means improvements will be made in town. And also for each business case by case, that's going to be a good thing.”
T.X.U. estimates an additional economic impact of $299 million annually for Milam County.
If the Sandow 5 facility is fully functional, T.X.U. estimates 750 more people will be employed.
Patsy Rogers, owner of the Kountry Inn Restaurant, said if those jobs are filled, more of the restaurant’s seats will be filled as well.
Rogers expects sales to double if the new unit is built, "Hopefully they'll do whatever they have to do out there, the plant will be here, and it will secure our jobs and theirs out there."
"That’s going to be such a boom for Rockdale for the next two to three years and that's very exciting. Any person in the business area will be excited about that."
A hearing to decide the future of the proposed Sandow 5 unit is set for February 2, 2007 in Austin.
If approved, T.X.U. plans to finish the plant by August 31st, 2009.