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Priceville residents protest county environmental plans

By Staff
Not in my backyard.
That's the message some Priceville residents are sending to their town council and the Morgan County Commission about moving the county Environmental Services offices and maintenance facility to the area.
Some 50 Priceville residents attended a council work session recently, speaking out against locating the department in the city. Residents fear relocating the department from Hartselle to Priceville will eventually lead to a garbage transfer station being located there, too.
The county is looking to locate the environmental department at the old Peterbilt building on Bethel Road. That's too close for comfort, according to some Priceville residents. It's currently located at the District 2 county shop on Shull Road in Hartselle.
"I don't want it my backyard," resident Mark Hatfield said. " I don't want to have to pickup dirty diapers out of my backyard. This is my home."
Commission Chairman Larry Bennich and Environmental Services Director Brenda Blankenship said the early plans for the facility would be clean, odorless and not involve a transfer station.
Those assurances aren't enough for John Robinson, who plans to operate a blueberry farm adjacent to the proposed department sight.
"I think that it's obvious that most people are not going to be excited about picking fresh fruit and berries right across the road from a garbage dump. Even though you've explained that's not what it is, it's already being called that," Robinson said.
Robinson said he was also concerned about increased traffic on the roads and garbage blowing across roads and through neighborhoods, as well as its impact on the area's property values.
Following the work session, Bennich said he thought the relocation to Priceville was "pretty much a dead issue."

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