Local News

Debate over silicon smelting factory continues

NEWPORT, Wash. - A proposed silicon smelting factory is still causing a heated debate between Pend Oreille County and some of its residents.

On Wednesday, the town had a regular scheduled meeting with state Senator Shelly Short and county commissioners, but the smelter was never addressed. The meeting was scheduled previously to discuss upcoming legislative issues, but around 75 Newport citizens showed up to address their concerns over the smelter.

The forum ended before the smelter was even talked about, and as Senator Short left the building, many shouted at her.

“This isn't a laughing matter,” said Michael Naylor, with Citizens Against the Newport Silicon Smelter. “The minutes I've gone through, the correspondents, trying to organize and without any public input.”

The county says a meeting is scheduled for later this month to address smelter concerns, but people Kxly4 spoke to say they want the meeting to happen before this month's elections. That meeting is supposed to take place on November 29 at 6 p.m. at Sadie Halstead Middle School.

County Commissioners and HiTest representatives will be there to take public comments and questions about the smelter.