Council flip-flops on landfill

Friday, June 13, 2008

Lewisburg City Council members changed their mind this week on having authority over expansion of Cedar Ridge Landfill.

They did so out of an apparent concern that if the council voted on landfill expansion after public hearings with 1,000 landfill opponents -- like the county public hearing convened last month at Lewisburg Middle School to discuss a planned new landfill at Cornersville -- then an anti-landfill sentiment would rule.

Without permission to use its last space available, Cedar Ridge Landfill would have to stop accepting garbage deliveries in 16 months instead of five years.

Mayor Bob Phillips raised that prospect near the end of the council's meeting Tuesday night, saying Marshall County and its cities need more time to prepare for the lack of a local repository for rubbish -- which would include development of a transfer station and long hauls of garbage to somewhere else.

To provide time for that, the mayor suggested an amendment to a resolution approved last month. That resolution was for the city's adoption of a state law on how local governments should decide whether to approve more landfill operations. It's called the Jackson Law and it outlines eight standards to be used when judging plans for landfills.

The Jackson Law gives cities within a mile of proposed landfill operations authority to decide whether to allow such. But before a council can vote, it must adopt the state law and then two public hearings are to be conducted.

Having seen the anti-landfill crowd of 1,000 people whoop, holler and cheer their unanimous opposition against the new landfill planned at Cornersville, Phillips concluded last month that would be what the council would face after adopting the Jackson Law.

He said so after the adoption vote during last month's meeting and so he took steps to give local leaders more time to prepare for the lack of a local landfill.

The amendment he brought to . . .Pick up a copy of today's edition, Friday, June 13, 2008, for entire story coverage.