Conecuh meeting draws packed house

Published 10:22 pm Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hallways leading to the Conecuh County Commission chambers Monday were filled with those people seeking information on an application filed for a 5,100-acre proposed landfill in the county.

An application for Conecuh Woods Landfill was official filed with officials Friday, placing the issue on the Conecuh County Commission’s agenda. The proposed site of the landfill falls in the county near Repton along U.S. 41.

An overflow crowd was told a special public hearing would be held March 10 to give those interested a chance to be heard by the commission. The public hearing is part of the process included in the county’s solid waste plan, which would also allow for grading the application based on certain criteria that must be met in order for the proposal to go forward.

Although no other action was taken on the proposed landfill application, commissioners are now hearing the tick-tock of a 90-day clock while considering a decision.

State Rep. Alan Baker, R-Brewton, who was at the meeting, said state law allows the passing of the landfill application if the commission fails to take action within the 90 days following the application.

“Under current Alabama Code an application such as this can pass even if the commission fails to take any action,” Baker said. “If a vote is tied or if there is the lack of a quorum — whatever the reason, if the commission does not pass or deny the application it automatically passes.”

Of the hundreds on hand for Monday’s meeting, many have land interests near the proposed site of the landfill.

Willie Crutchfield, a property owner in Conecuh County, said the placement of such an industry in the area is not in the best interest of the area’s citizens.

“I have property just south of the location being proposed for the landfill,” Crutchfield said. ‘There is another landfill just south of me. We just don’t need what they’re trying to do there.”

Crutchfield said he supports growing industry for the area but believes the landfill business isn’t one that would benefit the area but would cause many issues into the future.

“I am certainly against this, and I don’t think it’s in the best interest of our children and grandchildren,” Crutchfield said. “I am 100 percent for industry. I’ve been in business in Evergreen for about 40 years, and I want to see industry grow. But, I don’t think this is it. For the sale of the welfare and health of future generations, this is not what we need.”

The public hearing will be held March 10 on the Evergeen campus of Reid State Technical College. A time for the meeting has not been announced.