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Landfill issue will require patience

By now everyone in Greene County has likely heard about the possibility of a landfill coming to the West Greene area. By now many have also voiced their displeasure with this possibility.

It is true no one wants to see a landfill built in their backyard. To be honest, there are several negatives. The smell of a landfill can be unbearable at times. There is also the issue of falling property values. In some cases, the presence of a landfill can be a nightmare for landowners.

But there is more to this issue than the Greene County Commission forcing undesirable conditions onto the residents of the proposed landfill. The Greene County Commission offers many services to the people of the county that require a great deal of money to provide. If you look at the figures road and bridge projects do not come cheap. Often, these projects run in the millions of dollars. Sure, there are grants that help cover these projects so the entire burden will not fall on the county, but there is usually a required match that can also add up to a hefty sum.

While many do not desire a landfill in Greene County it is likely they would like to see these services continue. The money has to come from somewhere and the landfill would provide a large amount. The major question facing the commission right now in regards to opening talks with Regional Environmental Service Co. will be “Is there a better, more timely way to raise the funding needed?”

So what is the right answer? It’s tough to say, but this is the question presently plaguing county leaders. Even the leaders that vote to look into the possibility of a landfill will tell you this is not their first choice. The truth is, no one really wants a landfill, but the county needs money.

As with any situation there are two sides to the story and both need to be heard.

The commission plans to hold a public hearing to allow their residents to do just that. Sometime in the coming months they will gather at the Greene County Courthouse for the sake of hearing the publics pro’s and con’s as associated with the proposed landfill. Those who are for the landfill will have a chance to speak their mind.

Those who oppose the landfill will also have a chance to voice their grievances.

Once again there will be voices from two different sides.

It is important to let your thoughts be known, but it is equally important to listen to the opposing views. In too many situations people tend to voice their opinions and close their ears with the opposition speaks. This completely defeats the purpose of a public hearing.

In order to get the most out of the meeting and ensure its productivity.

Probably the most important advice of all for the public hearing is to keep in mind nothing is set in stone.

The public hearing is merely a chance to hear opinions, not a final vote.

When the time to make a decision comes the Greene County Commissioners will do their best to do what is right for their citizens.

Rick Couch is a staff writer for The Demopolis Times. He can be reached at news@demopolistimes.com or by calling (334) 289-4017.