Kinsey zoning board rejects proposal for garbage transfer station near botanical gardens

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KINSEY, Ala. (WTVY) - People living in Kinsey have been anxiously waiting for the zoning board's decision on a potential garbage transfer station.

At Thursday night's meeting, they got it.

About a month ago, Mark Dunning asked the zoning board for permission to rezone his property.

He wants to build a garbage transfer station.

It would be at the old Goober Drive In, near the botanical gardens, which is what people in Kinsey are worried about.

"In just three months we've had people from 33 states and 3 countries stop by the Dothan Area Botanical Gardens, and for a lot of these travelers, we may be the only impression of the Dothan area, or Kinsey or the Wiregrass region,” said Dothan Area Botanical Gardens Executive Director William Holman.

Willliam Holman is very proud to have the botanical gardens as the major tourist attraction for the town of Kinsey.

The property next door, used to be the Goober Drive-In.

It closed decades ago, and he isn't exactly excited about what the owner is hoping to do with it - a garbage transfer station.

Essentially, about 20 small garbage trucks would come in and move the trash to 3 larger trucks which would take it to the Coffee County landfill.

People living on Headland Avenue aren't excited either, several have put up signs protesting in their yards.

"It's just hard to tell somebody there's not going to be a smell,” said Dunning. “There's really not, but these people have feelings and I can understand their position."

Dunning says the garbage wouldn't sit there for more than 30 minutes or so at a time, and a spray would be used to control the smell.

Several town leaders went to a similar transfer station in Columbus to see if that would be the case.

"When we got there, their misting system was running, and they said they pretty much have to run it 24/7,” said Holman. “To us, it seemed to make no difference because the odor was very disagreeable."

Dunning would need a zoning change in order to build the station.

The planning and zoning board had to make the decision whether or not to recommend the change to the town council, and Dunning’s motion failed.

"These sweet people in this town stood up for it, and I'm so thankful,” said Owner of Buds ‘n’ Blossoms Nursery Rhoda Boone. “I don't know where it goes from here and we'll be fighting it still if we need to."

Dunning did mention there would be a royalty of around 50 cents per ton that would go to the town if he did build the station.

He estimates that could amount to around $72,000 a year.

Dunning has the opportunity to appeal the board's decision directly to the town council.

Depending on if or when he makes that appeal, it could be on their next agenda, which will be next Thursday night, September 19th.