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?
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.
FOX 2 News, "You Paid For It" Features Crystal City
Elliott Davis, the investigative reporter for FOX 2 News' popular "You Paid For It" television series, aired a segment that he
prepared about the city government at Crystal City. The segment can be viewed here.
Jefferson County Port Authority Releases First Port Study
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.
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
There was a meeting on Wednesday, September 16th 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
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
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
Part of the Crystal City audit was released. You can find it
here. But it was
still going on as of 4/22/2009.
There were several "low blows" delivered in the final days before the April 7, 2009 election for city council
members. Most noticeable was an ad printed in the local Leader newspaper. Click on the picture to
the left to see a larger version of it. This is a very misleading advertisement that strongly implies our
group (the Concerned Citizens of Crystal City) is wasting city time and money. It is simply not true.
Click HERE for more information on this and other "low blows" the
city administration have done.
Please Help - Click on the Donate Button
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.
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
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.
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.
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:
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.