Laurinburg Exchange - Maxton board opposes landfill
Thursday, April 29, 2010 (14:42:06)

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Laurinburg Exchange Article


Maxton board opposes landfill
by Matthew Hensley, Staff Reporter

The Maxton Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to oppose a proposed landfill in Scotland County.

Most 150 people who attended the meeting applauded the decision.

Before voting, each of the five board members and the mayor took turns expressing disapproval of the measure.

"I am opposed to anything that will destroy Maxton," Mayor Gladys Dean said.

She said it would undo so much of the work the town has done to become viable.

Town Commissioner Victor Womack said the proposal simply did not make sense for Maxton.

"Using common sense, you know we have to vote against this," he said

Emmett "Chip" Morton, Mayor Pro Tempore, noted county politics at work.

"No one on this board is up for reelection," Morton said.

A public hearing on the topic was kicked off by a presentation by County Manager Kevin Patterson, which was followed by 16 people who spoke in opposition to the expansion of the landfill.

Among those in opposition was Shelley Strickland, a Lumbee Tribe Council Representative who read a proclamation passed by the Tribal Council on Monday that opposes any expansion of the landfill.

Maxton officials expressed concerns over how seriously Scotland County takes the town of 2,500.

James McClanathan, a former town board member, was concerned that only two of Scotland County's seven commissioners attended the meeting.

"The Scotland County Commissioners are not interested in what Maxton thinks," he said.

While Maxton commissioners were questioning Patterson on the proposed landfill, Town Commissioner James McDougald aired his concerns on the same topic.

"Those who are not here are not listening to us."

Town Commissioner Vivian Brow-Morrison also questioned Patterson on the need to build a dump so close to Maxton.

The county manager responded by saying there are no other options in Scotland County for a landfill because of restrictions.

Guy McCook, one of two county commissioners to attend the meeting, said the meeting reflected the town of Maxton showing their responsibility to their residents.

"I think it is part of the democratic process," he said. "I applaud the town of Maxton for trying to educate themselves."

He declined to comment on his own view of the proposed landfill.

Bob Davis, the other county commissioner in attendance, spoke against the proposal.

Scotland County officials are currently weighing an expansion of their current landfill to generate additional revenue and take care of future trash needs for county residents.

Proponents of the landfill expansion say the numbers are right. The 230-acre proposed landfill would produce a windfall of $2 million annually for the county with the highest property tax rate in the state, according to county officials.

The expected environmental impact is nearly negligible and could even prove positive, County Manager Kevin Patterson has said. The old landfill, which is unlined and produces 5.7 million gallons of leakage a year, would be used to cover a new landfill, which would be lined and produce only 114 gallons of leakage each year.

Landfill opponents say the numbers don't add up as the 3,000 ton-per-day capacity far exceeds Scotland County's trash output of 100 tons per day. Trucks would congest the roads near the present landfill, placing untenable strain on county roads.

Officials at the Laurinburg-Maxton Airport have expressed opposition as the seagulls attracted by the dump would be a hazard to airplanes and could prevent usage of the airport.

County commissioners have been considering a regional landfill since 2005, when they voted 5-2 to look at bringing in a private company to operate such a facility.

Content received from: Scotland County Of Tomorrow, http://nomegadump.org