RH3 Media Hearing Book - June 20, 2005 St Louis, MO Page: 62 of 81
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feed a 4-H pig rooting in the mud in a pen behind their home. "About the only thing left now are
the three taverns."
Sollars admitted he is worried about the future of this town of fewer than 600.
"I don't know what my grandkids are going to do if they don't get out of here," he said.
Unemployment in Vermillion County was 8.4 percent in March, compared with a statewide
average of 6 percent.
Few jobs in the western Indiana area pay the $15 to $20 in hourly wages and offer the benefits
that came with civilian jobs at the depot, said Evelyn Ward, 63, of Newport. She worked at the
depot for 22 years.
In the Newport area, the only comparable pay is at a Cinergy power station, an Inland Container
plant and an Eli Lilly facility. And the future of jobs at the power plant became a question mark
last week when Cinergy announced North Carolina-based Duke Power was purchasing it -- a
move that could lead to the reduction of about 1,500 jobs.
Many residents in this rural area along the Wabash River south of 1-74 already drive more than 30
miles to Terre Haute or Danville, Ill., for work. Several lost jobs when General Motors closed a
plant in Danville.
Evelyn Ward's husband, Warner Ward, 69, worked at the depot for seven years and thinks its
closing will hurt the local economy more than people realize.
"It may only be a nickel here and a dime there, but it adds up," he said. "There are a lot of people
who rent homes to the people who work there. They eat in the restaurant and buy gas and pay
"Their kids go to school here. When they're gone, people are going to feel it in places we don't
think a lot about right now."
Contractor Ramps Up Pace of VX Destruction
(Newport) -- Army contractors are destructing a deadly nerve agent at double the pace
less than a month after beginning the process.
Officials say workers at the Newport Chemical Agent Destruction Facility have successfully
neutralized about 1500 gallons of VX since startup on May fifth. The process is expected to take
more than two years to complete and produces a caustic chemical called hydrolysate, similar to
liquid drain cleaner.
The hydrolysate will initially be stored at the depot about 30 miles north of Terre Haute. The
Army then wants to treat it at a New Jersey plant and dispose of it in the Delaware River. But
New Jersey and Delaware opposes the plan.
A single pinpoint droplet of VX can kill a healthy adult male and more than 250,000 gallons of it
are stored at the depot.
Here’s what’s next.
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United States. Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission. RH3 Media Hearing Book - June 20, 2005 St Louis, MO, legal document, November 4, 2005; (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc24404/m1/62/: accessed May 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.