Expanded Landfill On Hold Until Further Review - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

01/16/04

Expanded Landfill On Hold Until Further Review

The Grand Casino's Grand Bear Golf Course is known for its natural cypress wetlands, secluded fairways, and impeccably manicured greens.

But representatives of the golf course and other concerned residents fear the area may become known as trash.

"We strongly oppose the expansion of this development. It will be extremely hard for ourselves and other community members to sell properties, whether new or existing, in the future if this landfill is permitted to enlarge," said Mitchell Company representative David Burgett.

"I've seen the place out there. They've dumped bad things out there. It is a flood zone, so when it does flood, all that stuff goes into the dirt and soil and into our our water because a lot of us have well water out there," said resident Joyce Warden.

John Smith represents Waste Industries, Incorporated. The company believes an error was made in zoning when the company submitted the landfill proposal back in 2000.

Smith said that may have been the company's fault, but now it's time to correct the mistake and move on.

"We think there's been a need for the last almost 8 years now for the site. There'll be a need for the site out into the future as the county continues to grow because we're the place where the construction industry takes their waste," said Waste Industries Incorporated John Smith.

But residents believe this need is filled with pollution, noise, and it simply destroys the ambiance.

"It's a nice family place. But once they start putting that in there, it being a flood area and even just the seepage, it's gonna get into the river, and it's just not gonna be quality enough for our children to have a recreational area anymore," said resident Rita Cuevas.

"We've gone though a great deal up there with dust, with trucks, with waste that they shouldn't put in there, and now is the time to call a cease to it and come up with the right approach," said resident and Gulfport councilman Chuck Teston.

The landfill expansion has been postponed until the Harrison County Solid Waste Management district has a chance to review the case.

But even professional golfer Jack Nicklaus has responded to the proposal, saying the project would completely ruin the golfing experience.

By Karla Redditte

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