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Holly Springs Mayor Hopes New Information Will Stop Plans For Landfill

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Holly Springs Mayor Dick Sears said a report put together by his office could keep a landfill out of his town.

Sears said his staff found it would be cheaper to haul trash out of the county. He also said a new appraisal shows the land has tripled in value over the last few years.

Sears said the land is now so valuable that developers are dying to get their hands on it, including one who envisions a mega-mall in the area.

"You're talking about 3,500 to 4,000 jobs for starters. You're talking sales tax. You're talking revenue," Sears said.

Commissioner Phil Jeffreys is standing firm. He said Holly Springs made a deal 10 years ago when it accepted water and sewer lines in exchange for the landfill.

"It's not a point of turning it into a valuable property. It's a point of having a necessity," he said.

The decision may be out of Jeffreys' hands. County commissioners agreed to let Wake County towns decide. Two weeks ago, Wake County town managers voted in favor of moving forward with the South Wake landfill. Despite the town managers' recommendation to build in Holly Springs, some mayors feel differently.

"Holly Springs is a community that has grown dramatically and is doing a lot of good things there. I think that we really need to make sure that this is the right thing to do," said Fuquay-Varina Mayor John Byrne.

The North Wake landfill currently takes most of the county's trash. It is scheduled to close in 2007.

The Holly Springs landfill battle has been brewing for seven years. In 1998, Wake County leaders first proposed the idea. Two years later, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources revoked the county's permit. It was reinstated a year later after leaders conducted the required studies. Then in 2003, the state Supreme Court made a ruling approving construction of the South Wake Landfill.


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