Maxton board plans to oppose Scotland County landfill
MAXTON - A regional landfill near this Robeson County community?
Not if town leaders can help it.
The Maxton Board of Commissioners said Wednesday it plans to unanimously oppose a proposed Scotland County landfill that would sit less than half a mile away from town limits. The board plans to approve a resolution at its next meeting that would oppose the landfill.
"It would destroy this community," said Dr. Gladys Dean, Maxton's mayor. "It would render us nonexistent."
Nearly 200 people packed Maxton Town Hall for the meeting, with people standing along walls and spilling out of open doorways. Most had come to protest the controversial landfill proposal.
During the two-hour meeting, Scotland County Manager Kevin Patterson presented the proposal, then the floor was opened to people who opposed it.
The 240-acre landfill would be located at the corner of Old Maxton and Patterson Roads, less than a mile from town limits. The landfill would collect about 3,000 tons of trash a day, and generate more than $2million a year in revenue for Scotland County, Patterson said.
He said the idea came about in early 2008, when the county's Board of Commissioners asked him to find out if it was feasible to build a landfill to generate revenue.
More than 15 people spoke against the landfill, saying it would be devastating to the environment and to the future of business and development in the region. Speakers included Scotland County Commissioner Bob Davis, Richmond County Commissioner Pam Dillman and various business owners.
John McCray, co-owner of Scotland Aeroservices at the Laurinburg-Maxton Airport, said the birds attracted to the landfill could cause plane crashes.
"I've run into a regular bird before," he said. "I shudder to think what it would be like to run into one of those large migratory birds."
Shelly Strickland, a member of the Lumbee Tribal Council, presented a resolution from the council opposing the landfill, based on the possible negative environmental effects it could have on nearby Maxton Pond.
Some Laurinburg and Scotland County officials were in attendance, including Laurinburg Mayor Matthew Block and Scotland County Commissioner Guy McCook.
Block recently came out in opposition to the landfill, but McCook has said that he needed more information before making a decision.
McCook and Davis were the only county commissioners in attendance.
At the end of the meeting, town leaders made their opposition clear in personal statements to the audience.
Mayor Pro-Tem Emmett Morton said building the dump would surround the town with unpleasant smells.
"To the north, we have a hog farm," he said. "To the east, we have chicken houses. To the west, we have more chickens. That's the only direction we don't have a smell coming from. It just would not be a good way of life for us."
Commissioners James McDougald, Vivian Brown-Morrison, Victor Womack and Ray Oxendine opposed the landfill, making the decision unanimous.
Staff writer Jennifer Calhoun can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 486-3595.
Content received from: Scotland County Of Tomorrow, http://nomegadump.org