Atlantic Waste Services just wants to be a good neighbor.
That’s what Ben Wall, vice president of the Pooler-based solid waste management company, said Monday when he told Bryan County News of the company’s newest plans to work with Black Creek residents near the site of the proposed 271-acre landfill.
The project has been the target of fierce opposition by residents of the Black Creek community and other parts of the county, as well as environmental groups like the Ogeechee Riverkeeper organization, who have cited worries ranging from water quality in Black Creek tributary and Ogeechee River to property values to road conditions and more.
In response to concerns from residents near the site about their property value decreasing if the landfill becomes operational, Wall said he believes he and his team have come up with a fair plan.
“We’re coming up with a property value assurance program,” Wall said. “Say your house is appraised for $100,000 and you can’t get anybody to buy it for nine months at $100,000 and you sell it at $90,000, we’ll pay the difference.”
Wall said there will be parameters associated with the program. The property must be within a half-mile radius of the landfill and the resident must have their home appraised, listed with a real estate agent and properly advertised for sale.
He added the program details are not set in stone, but he hopes to have all the details worked out within the next few weeks.
“There are still details to work out, but we are willing to guarantee property values within a certain distance to make them (residents) feel a little more confident,” he said.
The program, for those who wish to participate, would only be effective if the facility becomes operational and starts taking waste, Wall said.
“All of my strongest opponents qualify (for the program),” he added.
For the facility to become operational, two county ordinances must be changed. Wall and his team have submitted an application for the changes – one will allow a landfill to be built off of a county road instead of a state or federal highway, and the other will allow a waste management district to be built 500 feet from a residential or public well instead of 1,000 feet.
Read more in the Oct. 26 edition of the News.