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Landowner who lives near the proposed meat packing plant reacts to project

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - Larry Golden has lived on Golden Road for fifty years.

“You get up every morning and you see something different,” Golden said.

The proposed meat packing plant would sit adjacent to his home.

“There is a lot of safety issues on this highway,” Golden said. “I’ve been told the packing plant will have no smell. Everybody we have talked to has called us from all of the towns, including the towns in Colorado who say, ‘there will be a smell, you just cannot get away from it.’”

However, his biggest concern is the disruption to the wetlands the project will cause.

“We don’t need to destroy anymore wetlands,” Golden said. “We have already destroyed 85 to 90 percent of the wetlands in North America now and in the process, we have lost some birds. Extinct. We need to preserve wetlands and even create more wetlands. We need to do that.”

Golden said he’s not completely opposed to the $280-300 million project, but believes there are other locations better suited for the plant.

“We’ve lost so many railroad jobs and now they want to get rid of the conductor and that is going to devastate North Platte if that happens and we need jobs in North Platte,” Golden said. “I lived in Sidney and I watched the town die four times since World War II. It came back and it (Sidney) will come back again. We will too, but I don’t think this plant is what we need right here.”

The land will be up for discussion at the city council meeting on Tuesday. The council will determine whether or not to declare the near 400 acres as blighted and substandard. It’s a critical step to bringing the project to fruition.