Silence broken

Published 3:22 pm Thursday, April 13, 2017

We’re glad that Republic Services finally decided to face the music and respond to one of our numerous inquiries we’ve made over the past several weeks regarding a contract between the firm and Cumberland County.

Republic — a firm the county contracted with to build a landfill that would have proved to be a cash cow for its coffers — said the contract was terminated in February 2015 because it was “unable to find a mutual solution with Cumberland County.”

“As such, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality landfill permit has expired,” a Republic Services spokesman said. “We remain committed to the communities we serve, and we look forward to finalizing this matter soon so that we can all move forward.”

The matter is still being finalized, it seems, though county officials are mum on the matter. County supervisors have met in closed session numerous times to discuss the now-defunct host community agreement, most recently Tuesday.

Though Republic did offer some comment on its future in Cumberland, when asked for further clarification on what part of the contract needed to be finalized, the spokesman declined to elaborate, leaving it “up to the county” to comment.

County Administrator and County Attorney Vivian Seay Giles also declined to comment.

So, it seems we’re back to square one again, leaving the citizens and taxpayers of Cumberland in the dark about what sort of “finalizing” is going on.

There are many questions citizens should demand answers to, such as the future of the 1,200 acres Republic owns that was slated for the landfill. Does Republic have other plans for the property?

The citizens deserve answers, and we plan on helping them get them.