Residents fear loss of way of life

Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Kathi Wolaver of Cornersville points to where the proposed Waste Management landfill would be located, not far from where she lives.

CORNERSVILLE -- Opposition to a landfill proposed here is so complete, some residents conclude only the two property sellers could support it.

Meanwhile, another resident asks about the effects on the environment, raising her concerns about what a mountain of garbage might do to the animals here.

"I think it will pollute the water, which will affect the schools and children," says Kathy Wolaver of Cornersville. Her speculation led her to ask, "If not them, what about the animals when they come out with three eyes?

"What about it then?" Wolaver asks.

She lives in a log house on the west side of Pulaski Highway, near where Grady Osborne keeps his spotted walking horses and where several of their friends were seated on a spring afternoon recently, talking about the landfill planned on land just over the next hill and near Wolaver's home.

They were asked if they knew anyone who was in favor of the landfill proposal.

"Just two people," replies Jerry Murdock. "Sam Smith and Mickey Cantrell."

Smith is the former county commissioner who resigned to avoid any conflict of interest for him being on the commission and in a position to vote on the landfill. His 332.7 acres, combined with land owned by Mickey Lamar Cantrell, make nearly 600 acres where Waste Management wants to build a landfill.

The property is about twice the size of Cedar Ridge Landfill on Mooresville Highway just west of Lewisburg.

At a ford crossing of Richland Creek leading to the 600 acres, Pam Murphy voices her opposition, too.

"I live about one mile from this site and I have well water and no other option," Murphy says.

Even though Wolaver asks a provocative question based on her fear of birth defects in wildlife, she tries to remain reasonable about Waste Management's request, acknowledging that trash has to go somewhere.

"If it didn't go here," Wolaver asks, "where would it go?"

Murphy: "I don't know, but do we have to haul trash here from other states?"

County Solid Waste Director Morgan Thomas has said Cedar Ridge Landfill has received trash from places within a 100-mile radius.

If the landfill is located as requested, Wolaver says, "All the fox hunters won't have any place to go."

Property between the Pulaski Highway and Interstate 65 is used for fox hunting, she said. It's north of the Tennessean Truckstop.

"It's beautiful country," Wolaver says. "I'm afraid it will be ruined."

Osborne agrees.

"I worked on the interstate in the 1960s," the 63-year-old horse owner says. "The prettiest place off the interstate is here and it's a shame to mess it up."