Letter to the Editor: West Bank residents show support for Greenfield
Published 10:45 am Saturday, May 13, 2023
“As West Bank residents, natives of Wallace, and Consulting Parties in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Greenfield permitting process, we fully support the proposed Greenfield Wallace Grain Export Facility. We understand the importance of preserving the history of the West Bank of St. John the Baptist Parish, and believe that this can coexist with cleaner, greener industry that provides economic development for the majority of the citizens of the West Bank.
For too long, the West Bank has been left behind in terms of economic growth and opportunity. The tourism industry, which has historically been the main source of jobs on the West Bank, generally provides low hourly wage jobs and very few opportunities for local vendors. In contrast, the Greenfield Wallace Grain Export Facility will provide 100 permanent jobs with an average salary of $75,000, including benefits. This, along with the 271 projected affiliated jobs created because of Greenfield, will create real careers and opportunity for the residents of the West Bank.
We appreciate that Greenfield is investing in the education and training of local residents to prepare them for the jobs at the facility. They have already provided scholarships for West St. John High School students to be trained for jobs at the grain export facility, and they have set aside $1 million for the school to train even more local residents. This investment in education and job training will help revitalize our community and provide real opportunity for the next generation to thrive in careers in the parish.
We understand that some interests may be concerned about the impact of the facility on the environment and historic character of the parish. However, we believe that Greenfield has taken appropriate measures to address these concerns. They have committed to using the latest technology to minimize emissions and reduce their environmental impact. Additionally, the facility will be built on land previously used for sugar cane production and will emit less pollution than the cane production without displacing any residential communities. They have also committed to a portion of their property being developed to honor our culture and heritage, including partnerships with government and private entity experts in this field.
We believe that the Greenfield Wallace Grain Export Facility is a benefit for our community and wholeheartedly disagree with the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s unfounded opinion that it poses a threat to our community. Greenfield will provide much‐needed greener, cleaner jobs and economic growth for more citizens of the West Bank, while preserving the history of the area. We urge our fellow residents and elected officials to support this important project for the future of our community and reject the Ill‐advised and uninformed position taken by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Descendants Project.”