Monroe’s tally in fight with SunCoke tops $1M

The city has no timeline on when the spending will end, according to council members

Construction work continues on the SunCoke plant in Middletown.

MONROE — “The city has spent more than $1 million over the past three years battling construction of a coke plant on its borders, even though it faces a projected $4 million budget deficit by 2014.

And there is no time line on when the spending will end, according to council members. One of the city’s attorneys says its fight is to protect the health of its residents, which has no dollar value. The costs come to $114 for each taxpayer, based on a population of 9,087 people 18 and older in the 2010 Census.

‘I firmly believe in the cause. I think it’s the right thing to do. How you justify the money; it’s a long term benefit for the city. If we don’t do something to make sure that the SunCoke people and the Middletown Coke Company people are acting in the realms and requirements of the New Source Review (permit), we would do a huge disservice to our constituency,’ said Councilman Steve Black.

‘I know there’s a stopping point, but I just don’t know what that it is yet. I don’t think anybody can answer that question.’

SunCoke Energy Inc. is building a $370 million coke facility on Yankee Road in Middletown to produce metallurgical coke, a raw material for steelmaking. AK Steel Holding Corp. has an agreement to buy the coke for at least 20 years once the plant is completed this fall.”

— Denise Wilson and Chelsey Levingston, Middletown Journal

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