My concerns returned after reading a recent News-Democrat & Leader article which reported that Waste Management was making a renewed effort to have the Court increase tonnage limits through a Host Agreement amendment. The accelerated dumping rate would enable Waste Management to fill the landfill before its lease expired in 2015. Again, revenue dollars were referenced as an enticement for the Court to approve this proposal.
I thank the members of the Court who expressed their concern about increasing the tonnage and the negative impact it would have on county residents and communities that this garbage and trash passes through on its way from Tennessee, its primary source. However, I did not get the impression from the article that this feeling was universal among the Magistrates, and that a proposal was made to arbitrate an agreement between the landowner and Waste Management on the lease. I feel that the County Court should not be interjecting itself in negotiations between a private landowner and commercial business, particularly in a volatile situation like this where negative quality of life impacts on residents are involved. Can the residents of Coopertown Road expect a similar service from the Court in negotiating the lease or sale of our properties? Waste Management was well aware of the terms of the land lease and the tonnage limitations when it elected to do business in Logan County.
When the tonnage expansion proposal surfaced last year, results of a public poll conducted by the News-Democrat & Leader indicated an overwhelming number of the respondents were against the tonnage increase. Please listen. The repeated concerns voiced from residents that live near the landfill or along any of the roadways leading to and from the landfill have not changed. These include: odor, noise, excessive truck traffic, mud, dirt, dust, debris, and litter. All these will be further increased if tonnage limits are raised. The long term integrity of the landfill and its health and environmental implications are also not known.
I again urge the Magistrates and the Court to reject any landfill tonnage increase and make the quality of life and well-being of Logan County residents your highest priority. If you feel the need to engage yourself in negotiations, please work on a beneficial remediation of the landfill site when it closes. A nice park or golf course, similar to what is shown in some of Waste Management’s advertising would certainly be appreciated and a welcomed addition to the county.