STANLY COUNTY ISSUES
Stanly County, home to a recently curtailed manufacturing facility that was operated by Alcoa for nearly 100 years, participated in the relicensing process for several years. Despite support from the county’s two largest communities, Albemarle and Badin, Stanly County refused to support the relicensing agreement unless APGI agreed to significant financial concessions being sought by county leaders.
Stanly County has since embarked on a campaign aimed at encouraging the State of North Carolina to take control of Alcoa-Yadkin’s hydroelectric business. Here’s a look at some of the key issues being raised:
Who Owns the Water?
Stanly County claims that the Yadkin River belongs to the people of North Carolina, and says a private company should not be allowed to profit from what that belongs to the people.
Alcoa-Yadkin acknowledges that it doesn’t own the water — but it does own 38,000 acres of property along the Yadkin River, including the land underneath the river. By virtue of its land holdings, Alcoa-Yadkin owns riparian water rights under North Carolina law that allows for the reasonable use of water that crosses it property. The generation of clean, renewable energy is a reasonable use.
Stanly County has raised concerns about waste associated with the historic operation of the Badin Works smelter.
The Badin Works smelter began operations in 1917, before anyone fully understood the potential impact of waste material and before there were any environmental guidelines or state or federal regulations in place. Alcoa shares Stanly County’s desire to protect the health of Stanly County residents and is currently working with state and federal officials to manage waste sites associated with the Badin Works smelter in an appropriate manner.
Alcoa began working with state and federal officials more than 20 years ago to identify and investigate waste sites on its property in Stanly County and to take appropriate action to remediate sites that might pose a health or environmental danger. This work is being done under the close supervision of the N.C. Department of Environmental and Natural Resources in accordance with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), a federal program adopted by the State of North Carolina to regulate the management of waste.
Click here for more information about how Alcoa is managing waste sites in Stanly County.
Alcoa acknowledges that the curtailment of the Badin Works plant had a significant impact on the town of Badin and the surrounding community. The loss of jobs impacted the local economy, but Alcoa continues to make valuable economic contributions to the region and the local economy is showing many signs of progress. The county’s tax base is up, per capita income has improved and unemployment is down.
Here are some of the ways Alcoa supports Stanly County today:
- Alcoa has an estimated economic impact of $8 million a year in Stanly County. Alcoa remains the single largest taxpayer in Stanly County, with annual property taxes of more than $500,000. The company employs 31 people and an additional 80 contractors.
- Alcoa actively supports economic development efforts in Stanly County.Alcoa Foundation provided a $250,000 economic development grant to benefit the Town of Badin in December 2007. The two-year grant, which will be administered by the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center, is designed to revitalize the downtown business district. Read more.
- Alcoa is working to redevelop the Badin Works site to bring new jobs to Stanly County. Alcoa is aggressively working to attract new jobs and new industries to Stanly County by redeveloping the site of the Badin Works smelter. It is currently engaged in active, serious discussions with companies interested in the site. Read more.
- A priceless resource for central North Carolina. When the Yadkin Project was developed, it led to the development of four reservoirs along the Yadkin River, including Badin Lake and High Rock Lake. The economic impact the reservoirs have brought to central North Carolina — by increasing property values, supporting local businesses and attracting tourists to the region — is priceless. The reservoirs are one of the region’s crown jewels and have served as a powerful economic force in Stanly County and the surrounding counties for decades.
- A history of community support. Alcoa and the Alcoa Foundation have provided $3 million to support local non-profit organizations in Stanly County and the surrounding communities during the past 20 years. Last year, the company provided financial support to 11 non-profit organizations in Stanly County.