Town demands answers at AltEn town hall

MEAD, Neb. -- The ongoing struggle to get answers about the future of the AltEn plant near Mead heated up again on Thursday.

Roughly 60 area residents, along with at least eight Nebraska state senators, gathered at the Mead Covenant Church Thursday afternoon. Several people spoke asking about the status of the ethanol plant.

The plant was shut down a few months ago. Its operators are accused of creating contamination by using seed corn coated in pesticides while processing ethanol. The state also filed a lawsuit against AltEn.

“I’d like to be assured our children won’t come to any harm,” Emily Loftus said at the meeting. “The state’s turned a blind eye on it for years.”

The town hall was hosted by State Sen. Carol Blood, of Bellevue. She has sponsored a resolution calling for a special committee to investigate AltEn.

“We need to figure out what legislative flaw allowed this to happen, and we’re really not sure how to get our heads wrapped around it," Blood said.