ROGERSVILLE — Hawkins County commissioners voted unanimously Monday to adopt the “Jackson Law,” which requires commission approval of any new landfills in the county before they could be constructed and opened.
Resolution co-sponsor Hannah Speaks noted that the Jackson Law wouldn’t impact a proposed expansion at the Carters Valley landfill.
In 2001, the Hawkins County Commission signed a contract with BFI prohibiting the county from imposing any restriction or regulations on the landfill operation beyond what is required by federal law.
“They are actually in the process of trying to expand upwards, but this will not affect Carters Valley Landfill,” Speaks told the commission. “This is in the event that a new landfill tries to be established within Hawkins County.”
Dave Edwards spoke to the commission on behalf of a group of concerned county residents who advocated for approval of the Jackson Law.
“It is the right thing to do,” Edwards said. “It is one of many steps to be taken to protect our environment. The next step after adopting the Jackson Act is to address the cost of adopting this act. This may mean enacting a system to monitor any landfill activities in our county.”
Edwards added, “Everyone here in this room knows three of our most valuable resources, and it is our children, uncontaminated water and clean air.”
Republic Services is in the process of seeking a permit from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to construct a 46 foot vertical expansion of future “cells” constructed at the Carters Valley Landfill.
The Jackson Law states that no new construction will be initiated for a landfill without the approval of the county legislative body unless the landfill accepts only waste generated by its owner and all such waste is generated in the same county as the landfill.
Also, if landfill construction is proposed within an incorporated area, or within one mile of an incorporated area, the governing body of the municipality must give its approval before construction can be initiated.
IDB members reappointed
The commission voted 16-3 with two abstentions to approve six-year reappointments to the Hawkins County Industrial Development Board, including Chairman Larry Elkins and members Terry Glass, Danny Cochreham, Tommy Young and Tony Burchfield.
Commissioner George Bridwell’s motion to table the reappointments for further study was defeated by a vote of 10-10 with one abstention.
Commissioner Rick Brewer said he felt six-year terms were too long. But Industrial Committee member John Metz noted that state law mandates six year terms for industrial board members.
Bridwell, Hannah Speaks and Larry Clonce voted no while Jeff Barrett and Syble Vauhgan-Trent abstained.
These reappointments expire Dec. 31, 2025. The IDB usually meets the fourth Thursday of the month at noon in the IDB office’s conference room on the second floor of the U.S. Bank building in downtown Rogersville.
IDB members aren’t paid for their service.
Commissioners swap committees
The commission voted 19-2 to allow Commissioner Danny Alvis to switch from the Airport Committee to the Education Committee, while Commissioner Charles Housewright switches from the Education Committee to the Airport Committee.
Commissioners Valerie Goins and John Metz voted no. Goins said she believes these changes should have been made when the commission approved Mayor Jim Lee’s committee appointments in October.
County roads named
The commission voted 19-2 to name two county roads which hadn’t been named in the nearly five decades since the county’s right-of-way deeds were recorded.
The deed for the newly named Edgar Trent Road off Buzzards Roost Road was recorded Aug. 24, 1970; and the deed for Wallace Road off Kite Road was recorded Dec. 5, 1969.
Highway Superintendent Lowell Bean said these roads will receive a 75 foot cul-de-sac, if they are dead end and don’t have one already, before they are added to the county road list.
Commissioners George Bridwell and Syble Vaughan-Trent voted no.