Friday, October 31, 2014

News
Landfill Sale Could Mean Rate Hikes for Pike County Garbage Customers
By Brittany Bivins


The dispute continues over the future of the only landfill in Pike County.

Last week, Brundidge officials lost their bid to restrict the issuing of a permit to Coffee County to own the the Brundidge Landfill.

The Brundidge Landfill closed last summer, after its owners, a private company, declared bankruptcy. The Coffee County Commission voted to buy the landfill last year, but Brundidge officials worry Coffee County could close or restrict the landfill's use. That would mean all trash in Pike County would have to be transported to Coffee County's landfill, the closest option.

"Average over ten years, it's approximately $200.000 a year income to the city on an average annual basis, so you know, we'll lose $200,000 a year, which ultimately our citizens will have to come up with from somewhere," said Britt Thomas, Brundidge City Manager.

Ultimately, Thomas says, that will probably mean a hike in rates for people in Pike County. He estimates it could mean a more than $2 increase per month to start, but there's no guarantee it won't go up after that.

"That makes me feel bad because I don't even live in Coffee County, I live in Pike County and for them to get my money that's cynical," said Hakeem Jackson, who lives in Troy.

Brundidge representatives say they've met with representatives from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, the agency in charge of issuing the necessary permits. However, ADEM denied their requests to stop the permitting process from going forward.

According to Thomas, time is now running out. The sale could go through as early as May first. City officials maintain that would be in violation of state law, which outlines a process for a business such as a landfill to exist inside a city. That agreement, known as a "host agreement," currently exists between the City of Brundidge and the bankrupt owners of the landfill. That agreement becomes void as soon as the purchase is complete.

Brundidge isn't the only city fighting against Coffee County's attempts to purchase the landfill. The City of Troy has also issued a public declaration, saying it supports Brundidge and its lawsuit against Coffee County.

Thomas says the city's next steps include a formal hearing in front of a judge to see if Coffee County's purchase violates state law. The date for that hearing has not yet been set.