The old Roanoke cement plant near Castle Hayne shut down more than 20 years ago. But now, controversy surrounding the property is very much alive. The land winds around the Cape Fear River and is currently vacant. For the past few weeks it has made headlines because the Titan America Cement Company has plans to construct a new cement plant on the property. In fact New Hanover County has offered Titan $4.2 million in incentives. County commissioner Bill Caster on Sunday explained the math behind those incentives. He said, "We have granted them a $600,000 per year incentive for 7 years. During that period they'll be paying property taxes on a $450,000,000 plant. So they'll be paying almost $2,000,000 per year so the net effect is $1,400,000 per year that we're making." Opponents of the Titan Cement Plant met Sunday night at Katy's Grill and Bar in Wilmington to raise money to fight the proposed plant. The fundraiser featured a silent auction, along with live music. Organizers raised over $3,000. Opponents of the cement plant think it would have negative effects on the environment, not just in New Hanover County, but in the entire Cape Fear region. Cliff Cash said, "There's no other cement plant of this magnitude in the area, and the fact is we do have a lot of industry in the area that is pollutant, and we do need to be aware of that, and it's all the more reason to not let another one in." Katy Monaghan added, "We moved here in 1966 and it so beautiful and serene and pristine and now it just seems as if everywhere you turn there are bulldozers and our whole environment is threatened." In order to build a cement plant, Titan America has to go through a permitting process that will take at least a year and a half. If the company gets the green light, the plant will likely take 4 years to build. That's a green light these green issued people, never hope to see.
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