Rep. Mike Turner (R-10th), a former Dayton mayor, Monday toured the CEMEX concrete plant in Bath Twp.
Turner is in a new district — courtesy of redistricting — with all of Greene County added to his district. He said he’s familiar with the county, having family here and from his work as mayor.
Speaking to nearly 80 workers and managers, Turner praised the company’s investment in the facility and the quality of the work force.
“The economy has been difficult … but as a region we always bounce back and do well because of our work force,” he said.
Turner pointed his work on the House Armed Service Committee to bring jobs to the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, one of the region’s economic drivers.
“We have to have a diverse economy,” he said after speaking to the employees. “One vital aspect is the resources we can provide for construction, which needs affordable, quality materials.
“Every foundation is built on concrete.”
After touring the plant Turner asked managers how long the plant could stay in business, with the amount of limestone in the ground.
Based on the current zoning of the company’s land, the answer is seven to 10 years, said Alberto Calleros, plant manager. A zoning change — like one the company requested and was defeated in 2011 — would take the life to 30 years, he said.
The company’s request for a zoning change on 290 acres in Xenia Twp. so it could be mined failed in 2011 when township trustees voted 2-1 to reject the request. Nearby residents objected to the change from agricultural, fearing increased noise, deteriorating roads and increased pollution.
CEMEX has land in Fairborn and Beavercreek, Xenia and Bath townships.
Sara Engdal, a CEMEX spokeswoman, said the plant employs around 100 employees with an annual payroll, not including benefits, of $6.4 million.
While she did not have the exact figures, she said Mexico-based CEMEX has invested millions in upgrades to the facility on Linebaugh Road, plus millions more in environmental upgrades. “And we will be spending more for those environmental upgrades in the future as regulations change,” she said.
CEMEX bought the facility in 2000. The manufacture of cement in the Fairborn area goes back to 1922. The limestone is of the right chemical makeup for cement.