Titan America distributed mini-grants to 8 different New Hanover County schools at Tuesday night’s meeting. The resulting photo op rubbed some people the wrong way.
“I feel that the Titan Cement Company is trying to buy their way into our community by giving money to different causes in the area,” said Tracey Bruno a local speech therapist.
Ogden Elementary parent, Kelly Stryker said, “Personally, I would wish that they not come at all. But if they are going to come we need to know all the impact of the cement plant before they’re allowed to operate near all the school children and we felt it was appropriate to bring these concerns to the school board.”
Chuck Agnoff has been pro-business in Wilmington for 20 years, but he is not pro Titan. “Who wants to support a business coming to this area if in good conscience you’re concerned about your own kids? Don’t you think future employers would be equally responsive?”
Representatives from Titan told the school board that Titan will do more for the Wilmington community once they are established in New Hanover County. Titan’s Kate McClain said, “There’s a tremendous amount of misinformation that’s happening. I’m not asking for you to come out and support us this evening. What I’m asking is for you to give us the benefit of the doubt. Be sure you get your facts straight. Be sure you’re getting accurate information.”
In summary, Titan wants to be given a chance. Opponents say it is not worth the risk.
The school board does not have the power to decide whether Titan comes to New Hanover County, but Tuesday night showed how deep the debate runs. The board did confront the budget, approving a four-day work week over the summer to save money on utility costs.
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