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Wake County Wants to Amend Approved Landfill Permit

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HOLLY SPRINGS — Supporters of a proposed landfill in Wake County are trying to clear a bump in the road before they get to it. If they do not clear that bump, it could leave people with a lot of trash and no where to put it.

The South Wake Landfill and the Highway 55 Bypass projects should be complete in 2003. The problem comes if the landfill is done before the road.

The big fear is that NC 55, which is already a traffic nightmare, could get much more congested and a lot more filthy.

People who have fought Wake County's now approved landfill in Holly Springs thought they had one saving grace, a requirement in the landfill permit which says all traffic to the site must come to a new road, the proposed NC 55 Bypass.

Now, the county wants to amend the agreement giving it the option to request the use of the existing NC 55. That does not sit well with long-time landfill opponents.

"What's next after this? The county has already gotten the permit. If it does proceed, they will have access to the NC 55 Bypass. That, in and of itself, is not desirable, but it is a concession. Then to go ahead and add the existing 55, what is next?" said landfill opponent Dr. Peter Atwell.

The county wants to make changes to the landfill permit for two reasons. It says it cannot afford to delay the landfill opening if the 55 Bypass falls behind schedule.

And, it would allow for an alternate entrance without having to repeat a long permit process.

But Holly Springs leaders say not even the possibility of hundreds of trash trucks barreling down the existing NC 55 is acceptable.

They have instructed the town attorney to use whatever steps necessary to block any changes.

"We do not want excess congestion, excess inconvenience associated with what is certainly a difficult situation to begin with," said Jim Dolle, Holly Springs town manager.

The county stresses that it does not believe it would ever have to use the existing NC 55 for the trash trucks.

The 55 Bypass is scheduled to be finished two years before the new landfill would be ready.

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Len Besthoff, Reporter
Mark Copeland, Photographer
John Clark, Web Editor

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