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C&D landfill battle back in court today

The battle over E.T. Carlyle Co.’s proposed construction and demolition landfill returns to Lamar County superior court today at 9 a.m. Judge Johnnie L. Caldwell Jr. of the Griffin Judicial Circuit will hear the company’s motion to enforce a settlement it claims was reached in October 2007. Lamar County and its attorneys claim there was no settlement. Carlyle first began its quest to place the unlined landfill on 312 acres off Possum Trot Road over 10 years ago. The proposal has met with stiff resistance here and Carlyle has been denied at every turn. The matter has been litigated since 2001. The case file in clerk of court Frank Abbott’s office fills three large boxes. Residents of the impacted area thought the protracted fight was over when the zoning board, board of appeals and county commission all voted down the project in late 2007. Now the landfill, which has never had a shred of public support locally, has raised its ugly head again. Carlyle is claiming the commission agreed to permit an inert landfill as a compromise. The county disagrees. ’They contend there was a settlement. We contend there was not. No such agreement or settlement has ever been discussed or voted on by the commission,’ chairman Jay Matthews reported. It is the county’s contention that 98% of the landfill site sits atop a groundwater recharge area, making it unsuitable for an unlined landfill of any sort. The landfill was first proposed when Lamar seemed on the verge of a boom in housing development. That economy is now all but dead. Landfill opponents hope today’s hearing writes the final chapter of its obituary as well.

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