More time needed

Published 4:44 pm Thursday, August 2, 2018

Cumberland County, as well as adjacent Powhatan County, may describe the past few months as collective whiplash following an announcement by Cumberland County of a proposed approximately 1,200-acre landfill and recycling facility coming to the area that will be located at Route 60 on the Cumberland/ Powhatan line.

There were four meetings in four weeks related to the landfill, from June 7 to early June 29. The Cumberland County Board of Supervisors ultimately voted 3-2 to approve a rezoning request and conditional use permit for the Green Ridge landfill facility. This doesn’t include a meeting held by District Four Supervisor David Meinhard or community meetings held by Cumberland and Powhatan residents with concerns about the landfill’s impact in the area.

Just this week, there was a court hearing on Monday and a ruling in denial Tuesday of a request to give an injunction to the board of supervisors. This would prevent any further landfill activities until after Election Day in November when a request for a referendum would potentially allow residents to vote on the landfill. Thursday, the board of supervisors held a special called meeting where they discussed the community host agreement between Green Ridge, LLC and the board of supervisors. This following Tuesday, Aug. 7, the court will hear on a request for the referendum. The referendum hearing was initially scheduled for Aug. 23.

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A persistent concern throughout the project is whether citizens, county leaders and other officials have the necessary time to fully understand the potential benefits and concerns, short term and long term, that the project could have on the county and surrounding counties. Holding three important meetings relating to the landfill’s development within a span of eight days seems to point to the contrary.

An approximate 1,200-acre landfill would have an enormous impact on the Cumberland and Powhatan residents. We at The Herald contend that county officials and citizens be given the time needed to make an informed decision on the landfill.