Dispute over hay re-examined

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Cornersville man who got no response to his complaint to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen won't drop the matter.

John Beard of 420 North Main St. visited the Tribune office to question a statement made in April 13's article about the Cornersville BOMA.

The statement was, "The mayor and aldermen had nothing to tell Beard, since they have no control over where farmers choose to store their hay."

City Administrator Taylor Brandon agreed, at least in part, with the Tribune article.

"That's correct," Brandon said during a telephone interview. "We can't do anything about the hay."

According to Brandon, the matter of the round bales of hay, which belong to local farmer Buddy London, was brought up at the March 15 meeting of the Cornersville Planning Commission.

Several people had complained about the hay being stored in a long row between the Quik-Mart and Beard's home. Brandon said it was a zoning issue. Residential property was being used for agricultural purposes. London was told to apply for a permit, and when this was denied, he was given 90 days to move the hay.

"Buddy complied right away," Brandon said. "He did what he was supposed to do."

In a telephone interview London explained, "It's hay that went bad. It's on my property and it's going to stay there."

London also said he consulted with Beard about an acceptable location for the spoiled bales.

"'Back in the back would be fine,' is what he told me," London said, quoting Beard.

Beard chose the location because it was downwind from his house, London said.

According to Brandon, the plastic has been taken off the bales, and they were spread open to decompose.

"That board didn't do nothing but disrespect me," Beard said at the Tribune office. "This is a serious problem." His children are still suffering from respiratory problems, allegedly because of dust and mold from the hay.

Brandon also pointed out there was a mistake in the article. Mayor Amos Davis is not paid $200 for each meeting of the BOMA. The correct figure is $150, and tax is payable on it, so Davis takes home even less.