For profit, or for prosperity?

Published 10:34 am Tuesday, August 15, 2017

To the Editor:

Wood Beasley`s home, family and family`s farm is in Bertie County. Mr. Beasley is one of the owners of VistaGreen.

Bertie County is a Tier One County, just like Northampton. Bertie County’s population, revenue, and job opportunities are declining, just like ours in Northampton County.

VistaGreen is offering, to Northampton County, 100 jobs, $1,900,000+ per year for approximately 20 years, tremendous grant funds, county water connections and financial guarantees to property owners that live near their proposed coal ash project.

In a recent newspaper article, Mr. Beasley stated that VistaGreen has “an invested (sic) interest in Northampton County`s future prosperity.” He expressed concern about Northampton County`s “future employment rate”, “property tax rate”, and our county`s small towns ability to sustain.

He asked, “Considering future generations, how can Northampton County afford to pass up on a project such as VistaGreen`s High Bridge Park?”

I am curious. Why isn`t Mr. Beasley offering all of these glorious things to his own tier one county? Isn`t he concerned about Bertie County`s “future generations”, “future employment rate”, “property tax rate”, and his county`s small towns ability to sustain?

Why isn`t Bertie County contacting Mr. Beasley and asking him to do for Bertie County what he is so magnanimously offering to do for Northampton County?

Is it because they`re aware, like us, of the `toxic` chemicals in coal ash and the fact that all coal ash pits (lined or unlined) eventually leak these chemicals into the groundwater that feed their residents’ wells? Why else would VistaGreen be offering to connect all of their coal ash project`s adjoining property owners to county water?

Is it because they`re aware, like us, that property values will likely decrease as coal ash contamination increases? Why else would VistaGreen be offering to compensate property owners who “lose value in their property because of High Bridge Park?”

Is it because they have been reading about the well-documented life-threatening health risks associated with working in and living near coal ash facilities? Like us, are they hesitant to invite into their county, jobs that they would not want even their worst enemies, much less, their own citizens, to work in?

VistaGreen paid $2,000,000+ for the Northampton County High Bridge property. For that reason, and because of ever increasing opposition by Northampton County citizens, VistaGreen has found it necessary to promise ever-increasing incentives to the county almost monthly in an attempt to gain approval for the `special use permit` required before they can ever begin the project.

If this was about generosity, then Mr. Beasley would be offering this project to his own county, not ours. Instead, this is about THEIR profit, not OUR “prosperity.” Enormous profits for Mr. Beasley and his VistaGreen associates.

Northampton County Citizens Against Coal Ash will hold a community meeting on Friday, August 18 from 6:30-7:30 PM at Cool Spring Missionary Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, 120 Cherry Street, Gaston, NC. 252-537-0068. Come and learn more about the known hazards of coal ash.

Wanda Flythe