City Council performs 'housekeeping' chores

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

When governments engage in "housekeeping," it's to tidy up loose ends of lawmaking, budgeting or daily administration, and so it seemed when Lewisburg's City Council was rezoning land, readjusting its spending and letting a proposed ordinance for landfill control die on the vine.

An ordinance to adopt provisions of state law on how to judge new landfills was proposed last month by Councilwoman Quinn Brandon. That then-pending new law received unanimous support after Brandon said she'd been advised that property near the city was about to be sold and it might be developed as a landfill.

Since Waste Management Inc. abandoned plans for a landfill at Cornersville, Tri-Counties Environmental Association said it will help other communities oppose landfill plans. Where Waste Management might develop another landfill became a subject for speculation. On Wednesday last week, a landfill proposed in a neighboring county for aluminum smelting waste received approval from the first of two Maury County panels, according to the daily newspaper in Nashville.

Waste metals had been received at Cedar Ridge Landfill, which is run by Waste Management and is located just west of Lewisburg. Smoke from burning metal shavings filled the valleys near Cedar Ridge on Easter Sunday in 2006.

Here, Brandon sought adoption of state landfill controls into city code by ordinance. It would give the council authority to permit or prohibit landfills in the city or anywhere beyond a mile of the city line. Getting that authority by ordinance requires three successful votes.

The first vote was during a regular monthly council meeting on the second Tuesday of May. Brandon sought two special council meetings in late May so the ordinance could be enacted quickly.

However, at the first special meeting it was explained that adoption of state landfill standards, also known as the Jackson Law, would be immediate if it was done with a resolution, which requires only one vote.

Before the special meeting Brandon spoke briefly about whether adoption of the Jackson Law could be by ordinance and resolution, but the result of that meeting was adoption by resolution and no vote on the ordinance.

Without a second vote on the Jackson Law during the special meeting on . . .Pick up a copy of today's edition, Wednesday, June 18, 2008, for entire story.