Millions of wasted taxpayer $’s possible due to landfill ruling

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 5:13 AM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -A court ruling could ultimately force the city of Dothan to shut down a recently opened landfill, costing taxpayers millions of dollars.

The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals last Friday ruled that a state environmental commission should not have granted a permit for the landfill’s expanded operation.

This is the latest twist in a raging legal saga that began nearly a decade ago.

In 2012, with its landfill running out of space, the city of Dothan purchased adjacent property—about 180 acres.

Those who live near nearby filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the expansion, fearing impacts the site would have on them and also claiming the city had violated their civil rights.

The issue dragged on as the landfill reached capacity, forcing the city to spend upwards of $1 million annually to transport its garbage out of state because it had not received approval to use the new property.

Then in May 2020, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management Commission seemed to settle the matter when it overturned a hearing officer’s decision to deny the city’s permit.

Confident it had prevailed, the city opened its new landfill site as those residents who opposed the expansion appealed the case.

That brings us to last week’s ruling that the city will likely appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court.

If that court also rules against the city, the matter would presumably have to be taken to federal court or the landfill closed.

That would presumably force the city to begin transporting its garbage to Florida again and make the expansion property purchased for $900,000 essentially worthless.

Copyright 2021 WTVY. All rights reserved.

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