Landfill re-vote

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 1, 2006

Meeting set for Tuesday

By Cassandra Mickens

The Selma Times-Journal

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HAYNEVILLE – Lowndes County Commission members were under the impression they had rejected a controversial landfill proposal from Alabama River Partners, LLC (ARP) in a 3-2 vote during a public meeting at the Lowndes County Courthouse on Monday night.

But apparently that wasn’t the case.

“The opponents are complaining that the meeting wasn’t posted to be in the courthouse, said District 1 Commissioner Robert Harris on Thursday.

The opponents – who Harris suspects to be ARP representatives – are saying the commission did not comply with the state’s open meetings laws, which states “the deliberative process of governmental bodies shall be open to the public during meetings” and “no meetings of a governmental body may be held without providing notice.” Harris said ARP is accusing the commission of not giving public notice on where Monday’s meeting was to be held.

“We usually have all our meetings in the courthouse annex building,” Harris said, “but to accommodate the large capacity of people, we moved it over to the large courthouse.”

“They wanted to try to drum up something so they could

show that they are not satisfied with the outcome of the votes.”

Harris added, “My problem with the whole thing is that both buildings are county owned buildings. ARP showed up at the meeting, a host of other people showed up … so it wasn’t like it was hidden or anything like that.”

Kim Davis, ARP spokeswoman, declined to comment on Thursday.

Harris said as soon as commission members “got wind” of the accusations, they quickly decided to reschedule a second landfill vote to be legally safe.

The re-vote will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 5 at 8 a.m. in the commissioner’s chambers in Hayneville.

On Monday the commission received a standing ovation from residents regarding ARP’s construction and demolition landfill, part of a $25 million project. Harris, District 4 Commissioner Paul Sloane and District 5 Commissioner Dickson Farrior voted against the landfill. Commission Chairman Charlie King and District 3 Commissioner Marzett Thomas voted in favor of ARP’s proposal.