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2011: Landfills or charities, residents join for a cause
TJ-landfill Grier
Black Creek resident Ellis Grier looks at a map of the proposed landfill site during a public information meeting in March at Olive Branch Baptist Church. - photo by File photo

This is the last of a multi-part series taking a look back on 2011. What was possibly the biggest hot-button topic of the year for Bryan County, the proposed landfill in Black Creek, only recently came to closure — at least for now. But it and other highlights of 2011 showed how this community can band together for something it believes in.

In probably one of the most talked-about issues of the year, North Bryan residents’ voices were heard when the Bryan County Commissioners unanimously denied in December ordinance changes that would have allowed a landfill to be built in the county.
Solid waste management company Atlantic Waste Services had proposed a 268-acre landfill in the Black Creek community of North Bryan County and sought changes to regulations the company claimed prohibits a landfill from being built in the county.
Since the topic was introduced to the Black Creek community in March, residents rallied against the idea. Signs that read “landfill” with a slash across lined roadways in North Bryan, and a group of citizens even organized against Atlantic Waste’s efforts.
Atlantic Waste devoted a website to the project and made continuous efforts to ease people’s fears of smells, decreased property values, water and well contamination and more. But still, their efforts were not enough to convince residents the project was in any way positive.
The company’s vice president, Ben Wall, stated numerous times to residents and county commissioners that the landfill would boost the economy in Bryan County. The development, he said, would have generated around $500,000 in host fees that would have been paid to the county for whatever use the county deemed appropriate. It also would have provided around eight to 14 permanent jobs with an annual payroll near $750,000, Wall said in October.
But despite all of Atlantic Waste Services’ efforts to promote benefits, the commissioners weren’t convinced. The development would have fallen into District 2, represented by Wade Price, who voted against the ordinance changes because of his constituents’ wishes.
“Most of them were happy, I think, with the way (the vote) went,” Price said after the December meeting. “There are a few probably not too happy about it, but that’s the way it is. We’ve got tough decisions to make at times.”Wall told the News after the ordinance denial that the company would continue to pursue the project in the region, but whether it was that location or another, he said he wasn’t sure.

Dollars for Dylan
“Dollars for Dylan” has become a recognized phrase for many South Bryan residents over the past year as many groups have collaborated to raise funds for a special cause.
Dollars for Dylan fundraisers benefit Richmond Hill resident Dylan Moore, a 10-year-old boy who was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2010. Since then, he has been undergoing chemotherapy treatments to battle the disease.

Read more in the Jan. 4 edition of the News.

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