- Lincoln Park, IL residents have signed an on-line petition calling for metal scrap yard General Iron to leave their community; they and a few alderman have complained of alleged "possible contamination," noise, truck traffic at the site, explosions, and a Hazmat Level 1 fire this past December, which prompted two aldermen to call for General Iron's closure.
- Ald. Brian Hopkins said it was the scrap yard's second explosion last year, though Terri Cornelius, the company's spokeswoman, called the event a "loud noise" — not an explosion. Hopkins said he wants to eliminate the industrial zoning where the scrap metal yard sits, which would reportedly mean General Iron could no longer operate there.
- Still, there are some who want the company that has been in the neighborhood for over 100 years to stay, including North Branch Works, a community group that has gone to bat to keep industrial jobs in the area. Run by the Labkon family, General Iron employs 108 workers whose average annual salary is over $70,000, according to Cornelius, as reported in DNAinfo.com.
A metal scrap yard in the community has been less than appealing to others and stirred controversy in the past.
"We go above and beyond required environmental standards for our business and have had only one fire of any significance in over a decade," Cornelius said in a prepared statement.
But, said Hopkins, "(General Iron) is not compatible with the neighborhood. It'd be in the community's best interest if they relocated."