Erie Community Weighs in on Possible Erie Coke Shutdown
(ERIE. P.A. - WICU/WSEE/CW) – Sam Hill will boat almost anywhere on the water, but one place he does not go near, is right outside the Erie Coke Plant.
"If the wind is blowing the right way, well the wrong way for me, then I end up smelling the coke." said Hill
Although, it is a smell he's used to.
As he used to haul loads of coke from the plant, between Erie and Cleveland, Ohio, day after day, for eight months.
"It was a place that I actually enjoyed working at." Hill said
But, as the plant faces its possible shutdown, he could not believe the place was still open.
"Maybe the fines aren't enough." he said
And the debate over what happens is next, has gained ground on social media.
On an Erie News Now Facebook poll, we have asked you if the plant should stay or go.
Some people argue a shutdown is needed. But others, like Bruce Blednick say, it will kill jobs.
So we called him to hear more.
"It’s a vicious cycle." Blednick said "Tax base gets kicked in the butt, people lose their homes."
Which is what hill wants to avoid, too.
“[I’m on the fence] I know that those jobs are decent paying jobs, and I don't want to see people lose their jobs." Hill said
But both say the mess, still needs to be addressed.
"The company should make, [or] should try to at least make a good faith effort to make repairs." Blednick said
And Blednick called on the City of Erie, and Erie County to help out.
But Hall says what happens is next between the Department of Environmental Protection, and Erie Coke, to work and calm the waters.