FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) — A big crowd is expected later this morning in Fairhope at this morning’s Baldwin County Commission meeting. A big topic of conversation will be a public hearing on a new landfill project in Bay Minette. This project is two-fold–if approved it would resurrect an old landfill that’s been dormant for about 30 years and also create a transfer station–but it’s the location that’s raising a stink with some homeowners.
The landfill and transfer station site is on Red Hill Road about three miles from the center of Bay Minette. It’s also a short distance from several homes. Homeowners say the project will have too much heavy truck traffic for their two-lane road. Some property owners say they feel blindsided by the landfill proposal and worry it will ruin their quiet neighborhood.
“Property values are just going to plummet. Who wants to live next to a landfill? We all agree and understand that it’s needed. It’s just not needed in the middle of a residential area,” said Emily Ryan who lives near the site. Danny Collier is building a house near the site and is starting to regret it.
“The traffic concerns, the smell, and at the end of the day, nobody wants to be living next to a dump. That’s that’s really my main concern,” said Collier. A county official says they are trying to meet the needs of a growing area of the county. They argue this is an economical solution because the county already owns the site.
Terri Graham, Development Environmental Director: “We do want to provide the service for the best rate that we can where we offer a public service. So doing that most economical for the citizens is what we try to do,” said Director of Environmental Development for Baldwin County Terri Graham. She notes this is a slow process designed for input and they appreciate the feedback and the concerns people have.
“I understand the concerns and we are working very hard to make sure that we address any concerns that they have so that when the commission makes their final decision, they have as much information as possible to make the right decision,” said Graham. The landfill will also be a short distance from Baldwin County High School and Bay Minette Middle School. Last week the school district sent a letter from their legal council citing concerns with the project–like the increased traffic and environmental impact near two large schools. An official with the county says they’re taking the concern into account and says the project will be for construction and demolition waste. The public hearing will be part of today’s county commission meeting starting at 8:30.