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Harnett residents raise stink over proposed landfill

Posted September 13, 2011

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— The fight over a proposed landfill in southwestern Harnett County is so fierce that zoning officials planned to hold a second night of hearings on the matter Tuesday.

Sandhills Environmental wants to use a 370-acre former sand mine off N.C. Highway 24/27 between Cameron and the Johnsonville community for regional landfill, beginning in 2014.

The county Board of Adjustment heard more than four hours of testimony from the company Monday as about 100 people waited for their chance to weigh in on the project.

"We're frightened about the noise. We're frightened about the trucks. We're frightened because you can call it whatever you want, but it's a garbage dump," said Zella Bracy, whose home in the Carolina Seasons neighborhood is about 400 feet from the edge of the proposed landfill site.

One of her neighbors, Ronald Cameron, has been making protest signs saying that runoff from the landfill could pollute a nearby creek filled with cypress trees.

Matt Kirkpatrick, managing director of Sandhills Environmental, said the landfill would provide state-of-the-art protections against pollution and smell, including a high-density plastic barrier, a 300-foot buffer, berms and trees. Also, the facility won't accept any hazardous waste, he said.

Community fights proposed Harnett landfill Community fights proposed Harnett landfill

"You will see schools, YMCAs, day cares – every activity in modern society – conducted (near a) modern, regulated, engineered landfill," Kirkpatrick said.

Landfill supporters say Harnett County could use the $2 million in fees the facility would generate each year, especially with schools struggling and county services cut because of tight budgets.

"If it's a money issue, then this community should not bear the brunt of raising that money for the entire county," Cameron said.

Residents worry that a landfill would hurt their property values and complained that they have been given little time to respond to the company's plans.

"We don't trust those guys," Bracy said. "We were given weeks of notice. They've known about (their plans) for years."

If the county Board of Adjustment approves a conditional use permit for the landfill, the issue would go before Harnett County commissioners next week. Sandhills Environmental also must secure a permit from the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Location of proposed landfill (Carolina Seasons is marked by the "A.")


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  • rebelyell57 Sep 15, 2011

    Update to the landfill. They have been having hearings this week. Tonight will be the third night The Harnett County Board of Adjustment listens to comments. The main group of people against the landfill who live in the neighborhood have not yet had a chance to speak. It looks like the board is trying to stall and hope that fewer of those against the landfill show up to the extra meetings. Well, we all know how it's going to turn out. The opponents of the landfill will lose and the "leaders" Tim McNeill and Mr. Womble will win.

  • rebelyell57 Sep 15, 2011

    Hey fuquay. I believe you are correct about that. My memory failed me. The Womble's new land increased in value as soon as it was announced that the school was going there because sewer would have to be run out to the school and that area. That type of "insider trading" is illegal on Wall St. but perfectly legal in Harnett County. Again, where was the county attorney during all of this? And I should have known one of the three commissioners in the majority was in on that deal too. Thanks for correcting me.

  • Fuquay Resident Sep 15, 2011

    rebelyell, the land for the new school was purchased from Commissioner Dan Andrews' sister. At the time, Mr McNeill was chairman of the commissioners and his wife Donna was chairman of the Board of Education. Thomas Womble purchased some land near the school just days before the location of the school was announced.

  • wasone Sep 15, 2011

    Here's what will happen. Your officals will suggest citizens tour other county landfills,they will be hand picked citizens and will be in favor of it. In Sampson County they were flown to the Concord landfill and served lunch at Lowes Motor Speedway. They will tell you how much money it will make. One Sampson County Commissioner speaking to a local Civic group stated "the county will never spend all the money that the landfill will make" but they have. Garbage fees to you and the county will increase. The state of the the art operation built will be based on old data. NC 24 will become a pot holed, littered hiway full of speeding trucks. These drivers are paid by the load not by the hour. Sampson County receives trash from OTHER STATES 24 hrs a day 7 days a week, yours will also When full the facility will need more land watch and see who owns the adjacent land you might have voted for them. How do I know... I'm living the dream on NC 24 in Sampson County.

  • rebelyell57 Sep 14, 2011

    You would think the county attorney would have advised Mr. McNeill against his participation in all of this. But then again, unethical isn't always against the law. It looks like this type of thing is standard practice just like beth said. I'm sure Mr. McNeill has no problem doing this just like Mr. Womble (school board) didn't when the school board/county purchased land from his family for a new school...at a very high price. These guys aren't serving the people of the county, they are trying to get as much of the taxpayer's money into their pockets as they possible can. Heck, the county attorney is probably in on it too.

  • bethjustbeth3 Sep 14, 2011

    The information is being made available in bits and pieces. This landfill will take in trash, not only from Harnett county, but from all counties in NC, and eleven counties in SC. Do you want all that next to your property? Thanks to other comments for pointing out Commissioner McNeil's dealings...this is standard practice...and he's running for Senate. Keep this in mind when you vote. If he'll do this to his county, what will he do to the state?

  • randrmomanddad Sep 14, 2011

    Listen to all of you.....Money..Money...Money.!!!!!Lets get rich. Wildlife can live some where else.!!!!!

  • rebelyell57 Sep 14, 2011

    Another portion of the article noted that Tim McNeill owns land adjacent to the sand pit. This land was purchased by McNeill in December of 2006 (after the permit was obtained by McNeill/Womble's tire company to provide products to waste sites). In other words, McNeill has been planning this for a while. He does not work for Harnett County. He works for himself.

  • juliekirk Sep 14, 2011

    If it wasn't for the sandpits then there would be no concrete.. no concrete means no paved roads. No paved roads is your car being torn slam up each time you hit a pot hole. It has nothing to do with quick buck it is keeping up with the demands of building and repairing roads.... Now this company is going out of there way to put something in that will look nice. I have seen the brochure concerning what their plans are. If anything it will take a BIG empty hole and turn it into something that looks nice. If it is as what i saw.. most people wont even be able to tell there is a landfill nearby.

  • randrmomanddad Sep 14, 2011

    Used to Ride my three wheeler up there at night.This place is one of the highest points in harnett county. I could see the lights of fayettvelle and sanford. Deer we're running everywhere. Sometimes we would park and on clear nights you could sit back and watch shooting stars fly across the sky like fireworks....How could we as human beings destroy something like this because we need a little quick cash in a hurry.!!!!