COLUMBIA, Tenn. - Nestled next the Duck River and it's tributary, Knob Creek, Chickasaw Trace Park spans 300 acres just outside of Columbia in Maury County.
While owned by the county, private citizens do most of the work to take care of it. The park hosts nearly nine miles of trails for biking and hiking. It also sits directly next to a county landfill.
At a Health and Environment Committee meeting Monday, county commissioners reviewed their options on how to move forward with the landfill, which is mainly full of demolition building materials. One option being looked at is an expansion into Chickasaw Trace Park.
“Please don’t take our park,” one resident said.
Mike Sweeney with the county's solid waste department said currently, the landfill has about a year or less before it's at capacity, “and that’s if we don’t get a major storm or some kind of disaster,” Sweeny added.
If it were expanded into the park, Sweeny said it would add about 30, possibly 40 years of use.
“Obviously we’re behind on this. This is something we should’ve started a couple years ago,” said Sweeny.
County residents are sounding off and do not want a landfill in their backyard. “I think Chickasaw Trace is our community backyard and we’d be well served to protect it,” one woman said to commissioners.
“This landfill is taking up a park. Its not just a landfill taking up property somewhere else, this is taking up our park,” Darral Teeples said.
Commissioners are now racing the clock to find a solution. “I’d be more than willing to take any suggestion that anybody has,” said Sweeny.