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Landfill Developer Eyes Maury Co. Property; Co. Prepares To Fight Back

Posted at 10:04 PM, Sep 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-14 23:19:31-04

Maury County officials have began preparing to fight a developer who wants to develop the county's old Monsanto plant property for another landfill.

The buildings that sit on the land are ghosts of their former selves. Signs of the phosphate and chemical plant have been buried underground and covered up.

"I talked to a lot of people who worked in Monsanto and they said there's some dangerous stuff out there underground," District 3 County Commissioner Gary Stovall said. 

However, in 2013 a Colorado-based firm attempted to resurrect the property and wanted to put a sanitary landfill there. Thousands signed a petition to stop it, hundreds showed up at meetings in protest.

"Nobody wants a dump in their neighborhood, I know I don't," said Stovall. 

The proposal eventually failed and the county commission passed a resolution that would prohibit landfill's from developing within two miles of the Duck River, one of the most biologically diverse rivers in the nation.

However, three years later the Health and Environment Committee heard plans of yet another landfill on the same property.

"We were blindsided, we had no idea that somebody else wanted to come out here and try and put in a landfill on the Monsanto property," District 8 County Commissioner Debbie Turner said. 

Former Maury County Commissioner now real estate broker, Jim Evans is working with the current land owner, a developer with several projects underway in Nashville. Evans said the county mayor and solid waste director approached them about the landfill plans, a move that seems to have bypassed the county commission.

"The commission, the Maury County Commission, the governing body of Maury County did not contact them," Turner said. 

The current plan puts the landfill within less than a mile of the Duck River. For profit, commissioners said other counties and states would pay to dump there.

"This is not something that's going to benefit us. It is a money making project for the people who want to develop this," said Turner. "We don't want to be the dumping ground of the United States."

Stovall said the current demolition landfill in Maury County will be at capacity in a few years but there is still time to look for other options.