March 16, 2015
Tonight at the BOC meeting an item on the agenda called “County Manager Items—Landfill” turned into a discussion about options of what to do at the landfill. County Manager, Karen Degges, had prepared the following chart. (Click to enlarge)
It seems this discussion carried over into the Executive Session (behind closed doors). When the BOC came out 50 minutes later, all the citizens had left. Thankfully, Kathy Mudd, editor of The Monticello News stayed until the meeting was called back to order. The BOC VOTED 4-1 with Comm. Pennamon against, to establish a 7 member Solid Waste Authority. There were no details, but supposedly a resolution will be available from the county attorney, Jim Alexander tomorrow.
Unfortunately, this BOC does its very best to keep the public in the darkest corner possible while telling us how transparency is so very important to them and how they have no secrets.
What started as an update on the landfill tonight, ended up being something that appeared to be pre-planned. A solid waste authority, selling the landfill, or leasing the landfill were NOT on the agenda nor in the agenda packet obtained early this morning. So this item was clearly not labeled correctly in an attempt to hide it from the public and move on it without the public’s knowledge. This is a clear violation of open meetings and the spirit of and the reason for the open meetings law.
As you can see on this chart, the last 2 options involve leasing the landfill and allowing waste from anywhere—thereby making it a so-called Regional Landfill. Karen Degges said the county had another 150 acres of land and we could expand the landfill or allow the “lessee” to expand it. Comm. Luke made a comment that we could always trade the landfill for 10 Sheriff cars, jokingly of course, but this seems to be the mindset. Karen Degges also made several comments that everyone (meaning other counties) wants out, and that even bigger counties are the feeling pain of this (landfill costs).
Newton County is doing the same thing with their landfill, and honestly we have to wonder just how involved the county attorney, Jim Alexander of Newton County, was in these proposals tonight. Our BOC sees nothing but dollar signs, and “proposals” based on “ideas.” (Like the Deer Signs that were going to make all kinds of money—so far TWO have been sold.)
Tomorrow night (3/17/15) the Newton County Commissioners are holding a meeting and will possibly vote on expanding their landfill by allowing another company to come in and bring in waste from all over.
Here is part of the story from The Newton Citizen:
COVINGTON — Residents aired dozens of complaints and questions at a lengthy landfill expansion public hearing Thursday night….. http://www.newtoncitizen.com/news/2015/mar/13/no-vote-thursday-on-newton-county-landfill/
And from WSB-TV:
The Newton County Board of Commissioners got an earful from opponents of the proposal and from those concerned about the potential impact on the Yellow River. Attorneys insist the impact on the area along Lower River Road would be minimal despite ongoing complaints about pollution, the odor, buzzards and traffic….. http://www.wsbtv.com/videos/news/newton-county-residents-worried-about-potential/vDKfTw/
Citizens of Jasper County, it is time you started attending meetings and voicing your opinion. Do you want a regional landfill near the Recreation Department and 3 schools?? Do you want more big trucks loaded with debris coming through Jasper County to dump at the landfill? If not, now is the time to speak up and speak out!
We will have some video and more information in a few days. Also, this Thursday’s Monticello News should have more details of what went on after the BOC came out of Executive Session and voted on this.
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