Thursday, May 17, 2007
Knox rubbish dispute history
By SUE WATSON
A settlement was reached last week between parties involved in a dispute over the placing of a proposed rubbish site on Knox Road in the Marshall County comprehensive solid waste management plan.
Circuit Court Judge Henry Lackey signed three orders May 1, 2007, dismissing the three cases with prejudice – Cheek v. Board of Supervisors of Marshall County Case I and Case II consolidated, Cheek v. Solid Waste Management Authority of Marshall County and Cheek v. Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.
The parties reached an agreement, avoiding costly and time consuming litigation.
The settlement opened the way for Cheek to sell his property that he planned to develop as a rubbish site to Buck Clark of Tennessee. The site was included in the county solid waste authority’s first comprehensive waste management plan, but public outcry and appeal to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality caused MDEQ to reject the first solid waste management plan, sending it back to the authority to be worked out by the citizens of Marshall County.
The authority voted to remove the Knox Road site in 2004 after residents in the area voiced objections and challenged the legal procedures used to form the authority. The first solid waste authority was disbanded, and a new Solid Waste Authority of Marshall County was formed. A Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan was developed by the new authority and has not yet met the requirements of MDEQ.
Cheek said Wednesday he is glad to close this chapter and move on.
“We’re glad to get some closure,” said Cheek. “We wished things had gone a little differently. The county had decided not to support this early on. All-in-all, we’re satisfied.
“I know we would have done a great job; it would have saved taxpayers a lot of money, but it didn’t work out. But we’re going to move on.”
Cheek and Oakland Construction LLC, spent a lot of money for engineering and legal fees to develop the site to be included in the solid waste authority’s plan and then more money to fight the authority’s decision to remove the site from the plan, he said.
“But there are some good people there,” he added. “I appreciate what the first solid waste authority did and I’m happy and ready to move on. There are some good people up there. I think public sentiment killed that (proposed site) more than anything.”
William “Buck” Clark and Robert Shockey purchased the 183 acres from Cheek to settle the cases.
Clark said the agreement with Cheek worked out very satisfactorily.
“We are pleased that it’s over,” he said. “We appreciate everyone who helped - the supervisors for being patient with us and all the people in the community who helped with this.”
Clark said the settlement ends a dispute that started in 2001 and took up a lot of his energy, time and peace of mind.
“It became clear, neither of us was ever going to win. Neither of us was going to lose either,” Clark said.
“It was a hard thing,” he added. “Folks worked real hard on this.”
Clark and Shockey live in Tennessee, just a few miles from the 183-acre site.
Clark said he and his partner have no immediate plans for the property.
“We’ll probably hold it a while and then offer it for sale,” he said.
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