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Landfill expansion project hits snag

By Staff
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
The city of Hartselle was unsuccessful in its attempt to purchase property adjacent to the current landfill, leaving the situation, in the words of Mayor Clif Knight, "back where it started."
The city was eyeing some 68 acres of land adjacent to the landfill, with plans to expand the facility in the future. The plan drew the ire of Valley View subdivision residents who said the landfill expansion would hurt their property value.
Last Saturday, Knight said he planned on bidding, but was unable to do so because one of the property's owners, Skip Drinkard, exercised an option to purchase the part of the property the city wanted.
"It was a surprise to me," Knight said. "(This) wasn't a situation where you take each property and buy it separately."
Knight said he expects the land will remain up for sale. In the past, the city and the property owners have been unable to reach an agreement on price.
Drinkard paid $2,000 for each acre.
"Obviously, he snapped it up at that price," Knight said.
The city wanted to use the property to expand its current landfill. Valley View residents have vowed to fight the landfill expansion, saying the city is not properly operating the current landfill and shouldn't open a new one.
Residents have attended several council meetings and presented evidence alleging the landfill is not operating according to code. Among the items presented where photos of computers and office equipment dumped at the landfill, which is supposed to accept only limbs and other yard debris.
Valley View residents have also said the noise from the landfill interfered with their quality of life and threatened a lawsuit if the expansion plans continued.