County buys up property to help build landfill buffer

More than $200,000 of taxpayers’ money will be used in the county’s quest to obtain land on Clark Place Road.

After a closed session last week, commissioners unanimously agreed to purchase a .96- acre parcel from Magdeline Ford for $120,000 and 1.92 acres from Christine D. Jones for $140,000 – a grand total of $260,000.

For several months, the commission has been negotiating with the owners of theses properties, which are adjacent to the Burke County Landfill.

According to county administrator Merv Waldrop, two wells on the property were found to have contaminants several years ago. While the county has since maintained the monitoring of the wells, three Clark Place Road residents decided to sue, citing the landfill as a hazardous interference to their “feelings.”

Waldrop said the commission had been updated on the pending litigation, and while he could not say what the offer is, he did confirm an offer to settle had been made by the plaintiffs’ attorney.

Waldrop said it is the commission’s hope to eventually buy all of that land and have a buffer around the landfill. Earlier this year, the commission voted to include $250,000 in its budget in case the county decided to make an offer to purchase land.

“We are going to have to move funds around within the landfill budget to get the additional $10,000,” Waldrop said. “The bigger question is, ‘Where do we get the funds to purchase other parcels and settle the lawsuit?’ There is no answer for that one.”

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