Not in their back yard
Thursday, June 17, 2010 (15:22:51)
Posted by Admin
The Robesonian wrote an interesting editorial regarding the Scotland County economic situation. It is short, sweet, and to the point.
|Itâ€™s indicative of the trying times that local governments are having with their budgets that neighboring Scotland County seriously considered establishing a regional landfill to help pay their bills.|
Thankfully, on Monday night, Scotland commissioners dropped the idea of a â€œmegaâ€ landfill after residents there â€” and in nearby Maxton â€” were loud and clear in their opposition.
The plan, which was talked about for more than a decade, had been to expand a closed landfill that is located within a mile of Maxton, on Patterson Road. Estimates are that the county could have generated as much as $2 million a year in additional revenue by charging fees to accept garbage that would have been hauled there from around the region.
But there were multiple concerns, about trash being trucked into the county, the stench it would produce, decreased property values â€” and the effect it could have on recruiting new industry when the economy begins expanding again. The commissioners caved, but itâ€™s easy to believe if not for the anger the plan generated, that the landfill might have happened.
While Robeson County is often cited as the poorest in North Carolina, Scotland County â€” and Laurinburg â€” are even more economically stressed. We have something â€” Interstate 95 â€” that they donâ€™t, so while they have also lost tobacco and manufacturing jobs, they have not been able to replace them with jobs in the tourism industry.
The result? Scotland County residents are saddled with a property tax rate of $1.10 for every $100 of property, which makes this countyâ€™s 80-cent rate look like a good deal. That puts an incredible burden on Scotland County property owners, and puts the county at a competitive disadvantage in the recruitment of new industry, which is the only proven path to tax relief.
A landfill might have eased some of the tax burden for Scotland County residents, at least in the short term. But a regional trash dump there would have had other consequences, many of them not good, especially in terms of future economic development.
We are glad the residents in that county and Maxton spoke up â€” and that Scotland commissioners listened.