The terms of the settlement can be viewed this week?
(Updated March 22, 2012) Please note that this website represents many historical postings and artifacts from late 2007 until the present time.
In late 2011 it was announced that there was new ownership of the proposed Crystal City smelter and barge port project.
References to previous owners of the project do not express or imply any present association between the current and previous owners.
These references along with references to the City of Crystal City, the Crystal City Council, the mayor of Crystal City, employees of Crystal City or
any other person or entity associated with the City of Crystal City are only meant to provide an historical perspective of the events and do
not express or imply any current fact or opinion.
(Updated March 23, 2012): The smelter project has officially changed hands as a result of recent legal wranglings in Federal and county courts.
The new boss is Pea Ridge Resources (PRR). Some of the details of the transaction can be found in a document filed with the Missouri Secretary of State on January 12, 2012.
According to press releases the operation is under the new management, Alberici and MFC (a multinational company based in Canada). They now own 97.4% of the iron ore mined. Previous owner
Jim Kennedy will retain 70% of all nonferrous (everything but iron) material.
Is the new boss the same as the old boss? No. Jim Kennedy has no ownership or control of the new operations.
And the name of "Wings Enterprises" no longer exists.
(Note: "Meet the New Boss" refers to a classic rock song and has no other implications.)
So what's next for Jim Kennedy? It appears that Jim Kennedy will continue his lofty campaign to promote the
use of Thorium nuclear energy and the independence from Chinese dominance over the production of rare earth elements (REE). Evidence of
this can be found in a recent article
linking Jim Kennedy to a new company named ThREEConsulting in which he is the president. Another business filing in Missouri shows the company name of Th.REE M, LLC being incorporated on
December 20, 2011.
And what's next for Alberici? Alberici appears to be more interested in the producing of chemical-grade iron oxides.
This site says that they "will produce chemical-grade iron oxides that are used to make drinking water safe and remove harmful pollutants from coal-fired electric power plants. These iron oxides also are used to make pigments in paints and toner cartridges. And this
article announced that Alberici has just purchased a water-treatment construction company. Does this play into making drinking water,
processing the water from a 40 mile-long slurry pipe or both?
And what's next for MFC? According to this MFC website they will be "exploiting the site's existing large tailings accumulation and exploring other areas for ferrous mineral production."
One thing is for sure. The current lease agreement for the old PPG property will expire at the end of this year and PRR and Crystal City
will probably have to negotiate conditions of the lease.
1/4/1950 - 1/18/2012
Ron Moring was a great friend. He will be truly missed.
Concerned Citizens for Crystal City Earns
"Best Gadflies of 2011" Award
(Originally posted in 2011) The Riverfronts Times "Best of St. Louis" edition announced that our organization has earned the "Best Gadflies of 2011" award.
It has now been four years since Crystal City Mayor Tom Schilly and developer Jim Kennedy announced that they had agreed to bring an iron ore smelter
to Crystal City. Shortly afterwards the Concerned Citizens for Crystal City was formed and filed a lawsuit defending
their rights through the Missouri Sunshine Law.
As described in the Gadflies Award from the Riverfront Times, our
lawsuit is still ongoing. What is not commonly known is that there are numerous lawsuits that have been filed in both local and federal courts
that challenge smelter developer Jim Kennedy's financing practices and ultimately the control of the assets of the Sullivan iron mine.
In the federal lawsuit, case number 4:11-cv-01317-RWS, the details of the agreement between well-known developer Alberici Contructors and Jim Kennedy
are outlined. In the local Crawford County lawsuit, 11CF-CC00011, the court has basically put
a halt to all operations.
Crystal City Served with Mechanics Lien
-- $348,912.26 --
(Orginally posted in 2011) On Thursday, March 24th, 2011 Alberici Constructors filed a Mechanics Lien against the "leasehold estate of the Subject Property". The entire
lien can be downloaded from here. The definition of "Subject Property" can be found on page 3 of the lien where it
states "The Subject Property and its improvments are leased to WINGS ENTERPRISES, INC., as Tenant, by the CITY OF CRYSTAL CITY, as Owner
of the fee simple interest, pursuant to the terms of a certain Lease Agreement dated September 10, 2007 between those parties."
This is the second Mechanics Lien that Alberici has filed. The first one was filed against Wings Enterprises in October of 2010.
That lien was soon followed by a lawsuit by Alberici against Wings Enterprises on November 7, 2010 where Alberici is aledging that
they had invested over $9 million in the smelter projects and that Jim Kennedy had no right to enter into another agreement with Glencore without
consulting Alberici first.
Here are some interesting thoughts about this lien:
- Crystal City formally owns the old PPG property. But Wings Enterprises owns the 100 year lease on the property.
Wings paid Crystal City $2.2 million for the lease and Crystal City paid $2.2 million for the property. So it is questionable what is more
valuable - the lease or the ownership of the property.
- Wings Enterprises has the right to use the $2.2 million lease as collateral for financing. The public is not allowed to know
who is lending Wings money or holding the lease as collateral for financing.
- The new lien filed by Alberici outlines the work that was done. Most of the work that Alberici is seeking payment on is from
the groundbreaking ceremony that Crystal City hosted in March of 2010 right before the important city elections that occurred in April.
- Some of the work described in the lien is for "Collapsed culvert repair" totalling $28,000. The Concerned Citizens for Crystal City
watched this work being done in late 2009 and brought up concerns about cost to Crystal City. The location of the culvert repair was
by the railroad trestle that spans Plattin Creek. We were told that this repair had nothing to do with the smelter project.
The feasibility of this project has to be seriously questioned. Even Jim Kennedy seems to have doubts about
the success of the project. The
St. Louis Post Dispatch on March 28th states:
- "The developer says he's focusing on a different project until he can untangle himself from
legal woes and find financing"
- "Kennedy said he'll be in Washington this week lobbying on behalf of his rare earth project instead
of 'tearing my hair out' about the Crystal City smelter".
Big Picture Finally Getting Clearer
(Originally posted in January, 2011) The release of a draft Phase II port study has finally shed some light on the more than three year old collaboration between Jim Kennedy, Doe Run,
Jefferson County and Crystal City. A video of the Jefferson County Port Authority meeting of January 18, 2011 was recorded and
can be viewed below.
The presentation provides more detail about the possibility of ports in Crystal City and Pevely. The previously considered port at
LaRoche has been dropped from the plan. The possibility of a new port in
Herculaneum is almost a certainty given the impending closure of the aging lead smelter and the need to repurpose the Doe Run riverfront property.
However, a piece of the puzzle still remains fuzzy. The presentation revealed a preliminary study of a southern access route to the
Crystal City port.
This access route would be shared with the access to Jim Kennedy's proposed iron smelter in Crystal City.
Timelines and details of the Herculaneum, Crystal City and Pevely ports were available to attendees.
But pictures of the access route to
the Crystal City port were not available for attendees to take home. They were shown in the presentation on January 18th and available for
viewing on a poster at the Open House on January 19, 2009.
Click on the image to the right to see an image of the proposed Crystal City port along with a rendering of the southern access route. The rendering
was produced by taking pictures of a poster that was displayed at the Herculaneum open house on January 19, 2011 and comparing it with aerial
photographs. For a VERY LARGE(4 MB) version of the port rendering click here. You may
have to click on the image again after it has been loaded for your browser to zoom in on the downloaded image.
The red lines on the map to the right represent the possible routes of the southern access. The width of the red line is approximately
200 feet and can be used as a reference to determine distances. Consultants available at the January 19th meeting said that the road
would probably be between 200 feet and 250 feet wide and accommodate 2 or 3 lanes of heavy truck traffic. The consultants spoke of a
possible new interchange on highway 55. But the possibility of using existing roads to access highway 55 were also presented.
Two main north/south alternatives are shown with one following the levee on the west and the other following the hillside of the River Hills subdivision
on the east. Crossing the existing BNSF railroad, mitigating contamination and dealing with wetlands and flood plains were presented as a major
The Festus Airport has been considered to be a key component in providing a southern access route to Jim Kennedy's proposed smelter in
Crystal City and the proposed Crystal City port. As of the date of this writing (01/23/2011), the status of Festus Airport sale is
still undetermined. The decision to sell the
Festus Airport to Jim Kennedy took place in May of 2010 but the financing to close on the sale has not been available.
On Friday, January 20 the local radio station KJFF announced that the
airport would soon be in Jim Kennedy's possession because all of the paperwork was in place and the funds were in the process of being transferred.
KJFF also announced that Jim Kennedy would present an update to Crystal City at the upcoming council meeting of Monday, January 24.
According to the posted agenda in the Crystal City office, Jim Kennedy's presentation was cancelled.
The consultants that were hired to create the port studies have announced that there will be a public comment
meeting held in May of 2011 to discuss the proposed road.
(Originally posted in 2010) For nearly three years residents of Crystal City, Missouri have been wondering "where's the money"?
The econonic numbers for an iron ore smelter have never made sense. See the video sequence below filmed over 2 years
ago where local engineer Roger Baker debates then council member Ben DeClue about the feasibility of the proposed iron ore smelter.
So where's the money? There has been a lot of speculation about the value of the other minerals in Jim
in Sullivan, Missouri. More information started to become available in February of 2009 when the conditional use hearings
in Crystal City revealed that other products would be mined and marketed.
In October of 2009 Jim Kennedy attended a conference for the use of thorium, a radioactive element available from Jim Kennedy's
mine, that could be used for producing nuclear energy. His
presentation revealed that a regional defense contractor contacted him around the summer of 2007.
This is same time period that Crystal City was finalizing secret negotiations with Jim Kennedy for the iron ore smelter.
Jim Kennedy goes on to describe how China has managed to strategically corner and control the rare earth element market and that
the U.S. needs to create an alternative market for these materials.
It has now been discovered that U.S. Senator Kit Bond (R) from Missouri wrote a letter to the Brazilian Ambassador on
April 30, 2010 saying
"A delegation lead by one of my constituents from Missouri, Mr. James Kennedy, President of Wings Enterprises,
Inc. will be in Brazil from May 3 through May 7, 2010 and I respectfully request your consideration for arranging a meeting for them
with the Brazilian Ministry of Trade and Natural Resources to discuss an important United States and Brazil initiative on Rare
There is more political motivation behind Jim Kennedy's rare earth element multi-national proposal. U.S. Senator
Lisa Murkowski (R) from Alaska has very recently
submitted a bill to promote the mining of rare earth elements in the United States. She notes that there is
significant opportunity to mine in her own state near Ketchikan, Alaska. A
companion bill was previously
introduced in the House of Representatives by representative Michael Coffman (R) from Colorado on March 17, 2010.
This CNN segment from May 24, 2010 quotes Andrew Lubin, who spent
30 years trading in Chinese metals.
"American mine owners are using the threat of a Chinese boogeyman to pressure the U.S. government into removing
environmental restrictions. People are using national security as a reason for scaring some of the pollution problems
More locally, in an exclusive interview with Jim Kennedy published on March
12, 2010, the Countian newspaper stated that;
[Kennedy] calls on the U.S. to fund a domestic rare earth refinery for the production of domestic rare earth
mines. Some have speculated that Kennedy plans to use the property in Crystal City for just such a refinery.
But Kennedy says that it would not be in Crystal City.
“It’s one of the most important things we could develop in the U.S.,” he says. “They’ll miss out on that.”
Well, it appears that Jim Kennedy is right about that.
Nothing has happened on the old PPG property in Crystal City since the ground breaking ceremony that happened on March 27,
2010 (except for a meeting with a Chinese delegation on April 17, 2010 - see below).
The ceremony on that date was strategically timed to occur right before the critical mayoral election on April 6, 2010 between
incumbent mayor Tom Schilly and opponent Jack Ginnever.
If you look at the picture on the right (taken July 5, 2010) you will notice that the Alberici sign and the postings of the
city permits are completely obscured by weeds and vines that have grown over the fence. Here's our "good neighbor"..
So once again where's the money? Does Jim Kennedy really have the money for the Festus airport?
Who would be fronting him the money? How much is Alberici into this project? Does Doe Run have any involvement?
Are the Chinese really out of the picture? Why do Jim Kennedy's lawyers have a Notice of Sale on his
mine in Sullivan? How much of our taxpayer dollars is being put into this?
What happens when Jim Kennedy doesn't deliver on his lease agreement with Crystal City? Is this all just one big
When the citizens are kept in the dark they only assume the worst. How much longer will we have to wait to get our
How Stupid Do They Think You Are?
(Originally posted in 2010) There was a meeting on the old PPG grounds on the morning of Saturday, April 17, 2010. An email with pictures of the meeting found it's
way to the City Hall of Crystal City. Apparently it made enough of a stir for the local radio station to issue this report:
"An email was sent to Crystal City council members this week that had photos of a meeting taking place over the
weekend on the old PPG property where the Wings development is set to go up. The photos show Jim Kennedy and his
attorneys, the city attorney, Engineer Bob Niemeier, Sam Rauls from the Economic Development Corporation, a group of Asian
businessmen, as well as other local figures conversing and taking notes on the site."
"The one line in the email states 'more secrets from ground zero'. But are there secrets?"
"According to Crystal City officials, the meeting was nothing more than Kennedy speaking with potential buyers of the
product that he will produce at the future iron ore plant."
"The company is China Minmetals Corporation and they are headquartered in Bejing. They are a large sized group dealing
worldwide in development, production, trading and operation for metals and minerals."
The original report from the radio station was that the company was MetalTek International. It is unknown who reported this or why the report was
changed. Why is the identity of the Chinese company important? Keep reading.
Minmetals Corporation has a 300 million dollar deed of trust on Jim Kennedy's mine in
Sullivan, Missouri. Click here to see page 3 of the deed, or click
here (caution - big document) to download the entire 30 page deed of trust.
This deed of trust was still active as of 4/14/2010.
Exact details of the Chinese financing have never been revealed. We have repeatedly asked who is financing the smelter project
and who is financing the port project. On September 5, 2007, at the public meeting held to announce the smelter deal, Jim Kennedy said that the Chinese
don't own any of this. And on September 16, 2008 the Wall Street Journal reported:
"Mr. Kennedy initially said he had financial backing from China Minmetals Corp., a trading company owned by the government of China. But
after the local uproar, which included a sharp backlash against Chinese investors, the Chinese have backed away. Mr. Kennedy is confident he will
find other financial backing, given the booming demand for iron ore"
So why would Minmetals want to meet with Kennedy in Crystal City to buy the product that will be mined from a location that they already have a deed of
trust on? Two and half years have passed and the questions are still unanswered. The deceit continues.
The picture above identifies Jim Kennedy, owner of Wings Enterprises, Dave Senkel, the city attorney for Crystal City, Bob Niemeier, project engineer for
the smelter project and interim COO of Wings Enterprises, and Sam Rauls, the Executive Director of the Economic Development Corporation of Jefferson County and
member of the Jefferson County Port Authority.
This raises even more questions about the meeting. Why weren't all city officials informed about the meeting - especially if the city attorney was
there acting on official city business and getting paid by taxpayer dollars? If he wasn't there on city business then it would be a direct conflict
of interest. Why was a Port Authority member there when we have been told repeatedly that the smelter project and the port project are completely
For more pictures click here.
You can see for yourself how Jim Kennedy is selling the combination of a smelter and a large port project by looking at
this section of the Wings 2009 Corporate Presentation.
On this page is mentions that "Wings will control 2.5 miles of river front" and that "Eminent Domain legislation is in place".
Keep a lookout for the Port Authority to solicit more donations from the surrounding cities. As of April 22, 2010 they still need $230,000 to
complete phase II of the port feasibility study.
Jefferson County Port Authority Releases First Port Study
(Originally posted in 2010) There was a meeting at Festus City Hall on Jan. 19, 2010 to discuss the new phase I feasibility study with the Festus, Crystal
City, Herculaneum and Pevely council members. There was another meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010 in Crystal City to host an
open house for the public.
Click here (caution - big document) to download the 118 page feasibility study.
Click on the image to the left to see the detail of Alternative number 1 for Crystal City. The Crystal City alternatives begin appearing
on page 61 of the port study. The next step is for the Jefferson County Port Authority to solicit for funding for a phase II study.
The estimated cost of the phase II study is estimated to be around $500,000.
Citizen Addresses Council Regarding State Audit
(Originally posted in 2009) On Monday, November 9, 2009 a citizen addressed the council of Crystal City to express her views about how the State Audit
is being handled by the city of Crystal City. The short video below shows the end of her presentation where she is being
escorted out of the council chambers by the Crystal City police at the request of the Mayor.
The entire presentation can be found in two parts. Here
is part 1 and here is part 2.
EPA Decides Crystal City is Not Classified for Lead Non-attainment Area Boundary
(Originally posted in 2009) There was a meeting on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 in Herculaneum regarding the extension of the lead non-attainment area
Here is the presentation
from that meeting.
Here are the boundary maps of the proposed non-attainment areas which would include the northern portion of Crystal City. In
December of 2009 the EPA decided that Crystal City was unclassified.
SECRECY CONTINUES IN CRYSTAL CITY
(Originally posted in 2009) The following video was filmed on the evening of March 5, 2009 at City Hall in Crystal City. What you are about
to watch is a vote by the Crystal City council on whether the financing for the smelter project should be revealed.
Why is this important? There are several reasons. First, it would reveal the
real motives behind the development of the smelter. But more
importantly, the 100 year lease that the city has signed with the smelter developer can be used as collateral for the
financing. You can look at the original Lease Agreement
here (careful it's 2MB) or a searchable MS Word version
of the same document here. Check out
page 11, Section 9.3.
So the real question is "why can't we know who is ultimately in control of a 100 year lease in our city"?
Some council members and the mayor of Crystal City think that you don't need to know.
WATCH THIS UNEDITED VIDEO OF THE PUBLIC HEARING FOR THE SMELTER CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT
(Originally posted in 2009) The following video was filmed on the evening of March 2, 2009 at the Crystal City Elementary School.
It begins after the Alberici presentation.
LOW BLOWS, THE STATE AUDIT WAS NOT OVER
(Originally posted in 2009) Click HERE for more information on this and other "low blows".
The Concerned Citizens for Crystal City is a non-profit 501(c)(4) Missouri Corporation. All
of our funding comes from private donations and public fundraisers. The money that we receive
goes entirely to public awareness campaigns, research activity and for capital to run
Our awareness campaigns help to inform tax paying citizens of activities in our area that may otherwise have
gone unnoticed. Our research activity often requires money to pay government agencies for record
requests. Click here or on the Newsletter to the left to see the latest of our campaigns to inform the
people of Festus and Crystal City of recent developments.
Your donations are not tax deductible but they do help to insure that your health and property interests
are being protected. Jefferson County is currently one of the most sought after locations for
incoming corporations and industry. The Concerned Citizens for Crystal City group was formed
to help insure that the taxpaying citizens of our area are fairly represented.
If you would like to be informed about upcoming events via email just send us an email.
email will stay with us and no one else.
(Originally posted in 2008) There are new lawn signs in Crystal City apparently expressing loyalty to the smelter project and the
industrial zoning that would allow a barge port to be put on Bill Bradley's farm.
But what exactly does the sign mean?
There are a group of arrows that form a circle with the words "Industry", "Jobs", "Progress", "Schools".
The CCCC group couldn't agree more. We have never been against any of these concepts. We are
only opposed to (1) the way the deals were done and (2) the lack of oversight by our governments to provide leadership and to
protect the citizens.
The phrase "We Are Crystal" serves no purpose but to alienate everyone that disagrees with the pro-smelter
group. It implies that all opposition to the smelter is from people outside of Crystal City or, worse
yet, people that live in Crystal City that are not in the pro-smelter circle. Crystal City residents are the only ones that can
vote for Crystal City issues. Let's let the voting record decide who "we" are.
This same theme is made even more obvious by the words
"Our Town Our Voice". These words go further to imply that the city of Crystal City belongs to
and is owned by this group of pro-smelter people. This attitude displayed by the pro-smelter
group should be an indication to anyone about the differences between the pro-smelter and anti-smelter groups.
The CCCC group believes that all citizens of Crystal City deserve an open government and an opportunity to vote for
the direction of the community. The city of Crystal City belongs to all of it's citizens and not just
some of them.
OPPOSITION TO SMELTER MOUNTS
(Originally posted in 2008) In the Labor Tribune publication dated February 21, 2008 the Jefferson County Labor Club announced that they would campaign for
candidates opposed to the smelter plan.
On January 19, 2008 the Disability Resource Association issued a press release that they would stand with the citizens of
Crystal City that oppose the iron smelter.
See more recent documents in our documents section.
(Originally posted in 2008) In a letter dated February 11, 2008, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has responded to a complaint of firebrick and glass cullet in Plattin Creek.
In that response MDNR is demanding that PPG sample the firebrick, do a metals analysis of Plattin Creek and investigate the firebrick
and glass cullet for removal or capping. MDNR states that these actions should have been part of the BVCP (Brownfields/Voluntary
Cleanup Program) that was done on the PPG property.
Probably the most important information that needs to be gathered is whether or not the firebrick contains Chromium 6.
Chromium 6 is the substance against which Erin Brockovich campaigned. It is highly toxic even in small doses.
In their letter to PPG, MDNR has requested a work plan from PPG. In an article in the Leader local newspaper published on February 20th,
Wings owner Jim Kennedy stated that this cleanup program will not impact the plans to build the smelter in Crystal City.
Videos from KJFF interviews and a video about why Jim Kennedy should move on.
(Originally posted in 2008) What better way to spend a holiday than to sit down with your family and watch the latest videos about the Crystal City
Smelter Controversy. Here are the latest videos.
IF YOU ONLY HAVE TIME TO WATCH ONE SET OF OUR VIDEOS - THIS IS IT!
Speechless - Part 1
Speechless - Part 2
TO THE PEOPLE OF CRYSTAL CITY AND SURROUNDING AREAS:
(Note: The following is one of the original postings to this website that began in late 2007) Thank you for taking an interest
in Crystal City's recent actions regarding the PPG site. You probably
have a lot of unanswered questions about what the smelter deal means to Crystal City, Festus and the surrounding
areas. Frankly, we have a lot of questions too. But we also have a lot of answers.
And we're getting more answers daily that we'd like to share with you.
We know that an agreement has been signed between the city of Crystal City, PPG and Wings
Enterprises. But it is not too late.
We are a growing group of concerned citizens that just want to be sure that our voices are heard. Our goal is
to stop the smelter. We are not anti-jobs and we are not anti-city. We are not sponsored by
any other organization.
Our justification for our actions is that the smelter will change the very complexion of our community for generations to
come and that this very important decision should not be made by a few in secret. Let your voice
If you disagree with this objective you still owe it to yourself and your children to stay informed. There
is a forum for open discussion. All opinions are welcome.