Stratford residents speak out against proposed million-square-foot glass plant
STRATFORD -- Concerned residents gathered in Stratford on Monday to speak out against a Chinese company planning to build a glass plant in the city.
Around 100 people rallied outside of city hall, calling on council to not allow Xinyi to build its factory.
The company has proposed building its first Canadian facility in south Stratford. The 1 million-square-foot building would cost $400 million.
A local group, called Get Concerned Stratford, raised concerns over the plant's environment impact on the city. The facility will use more than 1 million litres of water per day.
"There are tons of concerns pertaining to air contamination and water contamination and water use in general," said Melissa Verspeeten.
Stratford officials said the city is only using 31 per cent of its total water supply right now, and the facility would increase that use by eight per cent. Xinyi officials have also said the water will be recycled.
However, residents are worried the facility will affect the lives of everyone in the city.
The project will see an investment of $400 million into the plant, and will bring an estimated 380 jobs to the city.
Council is currently debating how much of the infrastructure spending on roads and sewers the city will pay for.
The agreement on the table is for Xinyi to pay for 55 per cent, or $7 million of the $13 million. The city will pay for the other $6 million.
The mayor said the infrastructure spending isn't just for Xinyi and will also be used for other projects as they move in.
Get Concerned Stratford wants council to have more public consultation before a final decision.
Stratford is the second city where the company has proposed building the factory. Last year, Guelph decided against the factory after residents raised similar environmental concerns.