By John Ramos

VALLEJO (KPIX 5) — A new cement factory promises to bring dozens of jobs to a Bay Area community plagued by blight. But some neighbors are saying, “not so fast.”

Cement-maker Orcem wants to move into the old General Mills site in Vallejo across from Mare Island.

But local residents say this sort of project would never be built in nearby Sausalito and say it shouldn’t be built in Vallejo.

They say they don’t want to pay the price of having a cement factory near their homes and dealing with the pollution and disturbances it will create in their neighborhood.

“This is about our quality of life and a cement plant would only harm that,” Vallejo resident LaDonna Williams said.

Under the proposal, the Mare Island Strait would be used to bring in shiploads of slag from Asia that would be then used to make cement.

“We will get the dust and the debris and the noise and the pollution,” said resident Pat Dodson who lives near the site. “And they will get the money.”

While Vallejo could use more jobs, Orcem says 30 well-paid jobs would be created by the plant.

But Peter Brooks, the founder of Fresh Air Vallejo said, “We need more than 30 jobs and we don’t need jobs that are unhealthy, as working in a cement factory or living by a cement factory would be.”

Residents say they’re tired of their economic plight being used as an excuse to bring in businesses nobody else wants.

The planning commission will take up the issue sometime in February.

If it passes there, the city council would have a final vote to approve or reject the project.

Comments (8)
  1. “Dozens of jobs” isn’t a good reason to pollute the area, cause non-stop noise and traffic disruption. An In n Out Burger creates dozens of jobs too without destroying a historic site or infuriating most of the taxpayers in this town.

  2. Thank you for the report and showing how close the Sperry Mill is to homes and schools. Not a problem when it milled flour and there were just a couple trucks a day. The site is historic and should be revitalized for mixed use, residential, retail, light industry like hydroponic food, and fun like a Burning Man Museum. The 19th century railroad line should become that missing link for the BayTrail through a rails-to-trail makeover. That would create 100s of jobs for all skill levels: management to entry level. Remember how bad the Presidio was in the 80’s? Or when Berkeley Rep was just 1 stage and surrounded by auto garages? Or when they wanted to tear down the Fox Theater in downtown Oakland…it’s Vallejo’s turn.

  3. Don Osborne says:

    Thanks for airing this report. Seeing those homes, schools, parks, and the narrow streets brings home how wrong this plan is. Bringing a another cement plant to another poor community does a great injustice to the people living here.

  4. Scott Wright says:

    This would not only affect Vallejo but, the whole Bay Area with the pollution released into the water and air. 30 jobs
    isn’t a reason to sell out the health and well being of a community. I’m crossing my fingers the elected officials do what’s best for the denizens of the community and not bend over backwards for a toxic business.

  5. Thank you so much for shining a light on this subject! This is a terrible idea for our beautiful waterfront that would be harmful to the community.

  6. It’s not just the pollution, it’s the costs that outweigh the benefits. The increased road maintenance, increased traffic congestion and decreased property values will outweigh any jobs benefit. In addition, why haven’t other cities with industrial areas like Oakland, Fremont, Pittsburgh or Martinez bid for this project? If it was such a great deal, they’d be outbidding Vallejo for the honor.