Expanding A Landfill Causes Controversy

By: Katrice Nolan Email
By: Katrice Nolan Email

According to city commissioners the Dothan landfill is in need of expanding as our city is growing.
But the bill associated with that expansion would cost millions of dollars.

"There are about 9.1 million dollars worth of expenditures to take place in the next two years," says City Manager Mike West.

That's how much it could cost the city of Dothan to expand the landfill, purchase automated garbage pick up trucks, and develop the voluntary curbside recycling program.

If approved, they would add an extra one-hundred and forty four acres to the landfill, but commissioners have to figure out a way to pay for it all.

"The staff proposed to the commission today was that they need today was establishing a $15.00 fee per residential unit," says City Manager Mike West.

And that proposed fee has caused a real stink.

"They spoke of a garbage fee today well maybe we should get out of the garbage business all together," says concerned resident Bobby Lewis.

People packed the Dothan city commission chambers Tuesday.
Most of them concerned about the expansion, and its location.
Including Bobby Lewis.

"When is the eastside going to stop getting all the landfill from the entire community, or for the matter the county? The community as a whole is totally opposed to this. The people who have been affected by this for years don't want it anymore."

Lewis lives on Webb road near the landfill on the east side of town.
He addressed the commission, citing an executive order signed by the governor.

"It basically tells how and if, and when a community can expand an existing landfill," says concerned resident Bobby Lewis.

Along with when a community can't...
Here are just a few of the reasons listed in the order that Lewis is addressing, recreation, economic development, safety, and health.

"We have the rodents, the vermin, the buzzards, the smell, the odors, and all those things."
It's a public safety problem that we have out there," says concerned resident Bobby Lewis.

Governor Robert Bentley signed that three page executive order back in February 2011.
Dothan city commissioners agreed to review it, along with all financial components of the potential landfill expansion.

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