Overflow crowd in Meno. Falls as residents voice opposition to Chemworks

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MENOMONEE FALLS (WITI) -- Menomonee Falls' Village Hall saw overflow crowds for a meeting in which Falls residents took a stand against a waste water treatment company hoping to move in.

It was hard to find a parking spot at the Village Hall in Menomonee Falls on Monday, January 20th -- and even more difficult to find a spot inside. Some members of the media had to watch from a screen in an overflow room.

One firefighter estimated about 350 in attendance at the meeting.

It was easier to find opposition to a business hoping to move into town.

"I can only imagine how my property value will be hit with this new addition to the neighborhood," one Falls resident said.

Chemworks cleans industrial waste, but it has made headlines in the past for environmental fines and foul odors escaping its Milwaukee plant.

"I don't think in this current facility they'll be able to contain those odors," a Falls resident told FOX6 News.

In September, Chemworks received all the necessary permits to move to a 21-acre site near a Menomonee Falls neighborhood.

A company spokesman says a modern sanitary sewer system and a bio filter at the new location will help to solve old problems.

Village leaders listened as part of an informational meeting Monday regarding Chemworks' plan.

The next steps will involve scrutiny by seven people on the Plan Commission. That group will work to determine whether the land's zoning is a match for what the business wants to use the property for.

As the process continues, so does the opposition.

"It'll grow from here on out. More neighborhoods will learn what's happening here, and it'll grow," a Falls resident said.

Village leaders are in the process of determining when the next meeting will take place -- but we do know it will be held in a larger venue.

Meanwhile, the Founder and President of Advanced Waste Services, which owns Chemworks, released the following statement:

“We appreciate people’s concerns about the health and safety of their families and the value of their properties. If I had only heard about my company as it’s been portrayed thus far, I would have these same concerns. However, the company you’ve heard about couldn’t be further from who we really are. 

Today we launched an outreach program to begin a dialogue with the community about our company and our operations. Our goal is to be transparent in sharing information and to work with the community to make sure their concerns are addressed and to ultimately earn their trust. 

The first of our information meetings will be held next Thursday, January 30th at 2:00 pm and at 6:30 pm at Davian’s. We will also make information available online for those who can’t attend. 

We know we have a lot of work to do to earn the trust of the community. Yet we are determined to make things right. And we will. “