County OKs rezoning for cement plant

County OKs rezoning for cement plant
Published: 08 June 2007

Houston County approved the rezoning of 1,976.67 acres near Hayneville for a $200m cement plant and quarry.

The land sits between U.S. 341 and Ga. 247 and is accessed off of A.E. Harris Road and a Norfolk Southern rail spur. It is southeast of the Perdue Farms plant and next to the Cemex plant. The industry will add 100 jobs with salaries averaging about $42,000.

The company, Houston American Cement, is a subsidiary of the Brazilian cement company Votorantim, which operates 24 plants in Brazil, three others in the U.S. and two in Canada, with three more under construction in the US.

The land had been for agriculture – timber and hunting, by owner Norfolk Timber Investments. It was rezoned from residential agricultural to general industrial with stipulations from the Development of Regional Impact study.

The study was required because of the size of the as was a recommendation from the Middle Georgia Regional Development Commission in Macon.

Both recommended the RDC and state Department of Community Affairs, which conducted the DRI study recommended the plan as “in the best interest of the region and the state.”

Houston American Cement will operate a Portland cement plan and limestone mining operation. That operation will be buffer and away from Wimberley Road, where the land has road frontage on the dirt portion of the road. Road access once the project is completed will be from A.E. Harris Road only.

Wimberley Road will be used during the construction only.

“We want to let the residents know,” Commission Chairman Ned Sanders said, “this is a temporary access for construction only. County officials will go out with the company and inspect the road. If it deteriorates they fix it. We’ll watch it for compliance.”

Perry attorney Larry Walker represented the cement company.

He said the Houston plant would be the sister plant to a facility in Suwannee, Florida. “It is an outstanding facility,” he said, comparing it to both Disney World and NORAD.

“It is the right time, the right place and the right plant,” Walker said.