Tire Plant Could Grace New Haven Shores

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New Haven city officials may have a new option for River Street. Tri-State Flexi-Pave is considering building a tire recycling plant there where rubber would be churned into an environmentally-friendly material used for paving. The facility could create dozens of new jobs.

“We’re weighing the fact that it’s a good product that has to be made somewhere, but we’re not sure New Haven is exactly the right place or right on the waterfront is the perfect place for us to give them land to do it,” said Matthew Nemerson, the city’s economic development administrator.

He said he has reservations about the tire plant idea because he needs to think in the long-term.

“This has been an industrial site for hundreds of years, but we’re not sure in the next 50 years if it should be,” said Nemerson. “Maybe it’s a place that people want to live, look out over the water, look out over the harbor, maybe a whole different purpose that will maybe bring more value to the city.”

New Haven residents aren’t sure.

“Take people out of the streets? With jobs? It’s a good idea. Housing? I know that they probably need houses here, but I believe that there’s more people without jobs,” said Iris Sanders, a New Haven resident in favor of the plant.

Jailil Cox is more concerned about what he feels is an adverse environmental impact.

“I think it’s more pollution for our future, for our future kids. And jobs — there are other jobs out here that they need to refinance like all these stores closing down, corner stores that they can re-open, but they want to go give us more pollution,” said Cox.

When Fox CT asked about environmental implications, Henri Hillmann, director of operations for Tri-State Flexi-Pave said the plant that company officials have in mind would be enclosed and that there would be a storage facility. That, he said, would minimize noise and dust pollution.

Tri-State Flexi-Pave is in preliminary talks with the city. No proposals have been submitted at this date. The company is also looking at sites at the old Simkins paper recycling plant on East Street as well as the old St. Gobain plant on Grand and East.

Hillmann said they’re also considering other locations in and outside of Connecticut.

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