Jonesboro City Council Passes Landfill Resolution

April 5, 2004 -- Posted at 9:42 p.m. CST

JONESBORO -- The Jonesboro city landfill has made quite a stink for city leaders and folks who live around it. Currently, there are two lawsuits opposing the existing landfill from adding to its "Class 4 site" ..... a Class 4 site handles heavier materials like construction waste, appliances and furniture. With those lawsuits in mind, the city council voted Monday night on a resolution regarding the landfill.

The Jonesboro city landfill has been more than an eye sore for residents that live nearby, and with two lawsuits against the city, council members are taking notice. Some of the council members were not on the board when the landfill issue first came up, so Monday night's meeting also served as an informative session.

The council voted to pass a resolution that will provide additional environmental testing for contaminants, provide information about maintenance costs, and identify at least one other site outside the city limits for an alternate location for the proposed landfill. The resolution also authorizes Mayor Hubert Brodell to find out if the Craighead County Solid Waste Disposal would be interested in making the Class 1 landfill a Class 4. It's complicated, but it also serves as a contingency plan for the city...

Jonesboro City attorney Phillip Crego said, "In the event that the litigation does not go in the favor of the city, then this resolution will at least allow us to develop some other options for the future. It certainly doesn't prevent us from pursuing the current site and handling litigation as it develops."

Those opposed to the landfill see tonight's vote as a victory.

"I think the resolution is a good idea. That's what we've asked for is for them to look for an alternative site, and that's basically this whole thing. If we had done this initially in the beginning and got this taken care of, that way there might not have been a lawsuit," said Debbie Hazlewood, who supports resolution.

But even with the passed resolution, the lawsuits still stand.

"We're just hoping that we can work with the council and we want them to hear what we have to say and just really take it to heart," said Hazlewood.

"I think it's good for us to at least identify the areas that we could use as the landfill site. Obviously nobody wants it in their back yard, but we need to get into the scientific data of what is best with the soils and the geological formation of the area where it would lend it's self more to a landfill site and just have the contingency in place on the chance that the city does not prevail in the lawsuit," said Alderman Alec Farmer.

The resolution also requests a detailed report to be presented to the Public Works Committee on how much money the city has spent in an attempt to develop the landfill at the Stawfloor location, including the costs of the lawsuit. This report will be presented to the city council on May 3rd.