Applicants Rush To Carolina Jelly Balls Job Fair - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Applicants Rush To Carolina Jelly Balls Job Fair As Coalition Stands Against Company

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BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. -

Carolina Jelly Balls, LLC, is still awaiting a few permits before it can start processing jellyfish to ship to Asia from a warehouse Dale. However, the first job fair to hire between 40 and 60 workers was held on Saturday.

For the time being, workers will begin offloading cannonball jellyfish from warehouses the company is leasing in St. Helena Island, and Hampton and Colleton counties.

In just the first few hours alone, CEO and Project Coordinator Steven Giese interviewed close to 70 applicants for jobs on Saturday morning. He measures that as positive feedback from the community.

However, a coalition says otherwise. Stopthejellyballs.com is a group of neighbors who is standing against the plant moving in next door.

From the dock of Joe Berger's back yard marsh, clean water and air aren't taken for granted.

"Do you smell anything other than fresh, clean air? No," Berger remarks.

He fears these things could change if Carolina Jelly Balls moves into the warehouse on John Meeks Way.

"It's going to affect the water, and it's going to affect the air," he says.

"I don't want to be sitting here with guests and entertaining and having to explain why the smells coming across this marsh are offensive to them. What will that do to my property value? What will that do to my neighbor's property value? Nobody's going to want to buy a house downstream from a stinky fish plant," Berger says.

As the company awaits their wastewater permit, Giese says the only discharge will be a mixture of jellyfish parts, saltwater, and alum.

"All the initial responses were that this is really hard, this should be a very easy permitting process from a federal and state regulatory position. It fits very well into the parameters of what is acceptable discharge," Giese says.

Some neighbors in Dale and Seabrook are on board with the company coming to town, because of its projected economic impact.

"I hope they come here and it grows with the community, and people here get a chance to have a job and not have to struggle so much," Jacquelyn Dunham says.

Dunham was one of the first in line to apply on Saturday.

However, some still aren't buying into the idea, like Lady's Island Oysters owner Frank Roberts. He is concerned his business will undergo changes from effects of the plant.

"I have no idea what the combination of jelly ball parts, super high salt, and alum in this mixture is going to do to the working conditions or even worse, what it's going to do to the water," Roberts says.

He worries what will become of seafood businesses that survive on clean waters  in Beaufort County, operating in the shadow of Carolina Jelly Balls.

"The worst case scenario is, we trade our jobs for theirs. My job feeds my family. My job doesn't pay minimum wage. The guys who work with me, they earn a living," Roberts says.

Until the company is fully licensed to go, Giese says he feels confident that it's only a matter of time before they will be permitted to move into the warehouse in Beaufort County.

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