The City of Alexander City seems to have solved a problem that has been bubbling for several years by getting permission to expand the size of its inert landfill on North Central Avenue.
The landfill, which is designed to accept non-offensive materials instead of smelly and even hazardous garbage, would be closed and capped if it didn’t acquire more territory. On Tuesday, Tallapoosa County Probate Judge Tal East ruled the city could do just that and condemn 108.83 acres belonging to Clay Services Corp. The city has already reached an agreement with the property owner to buy the land at $1,400 per acre.
The property was originally planned as part of the Westfield subdivision but was never developed. Two years ago, property owners around the landfill said they objected to making it bigger but no legal action has ever been taken to stop the project and it’s doubtful now it would succeed even if attempted.
Alexander City public works director Gerard Brewer said adding property makes the most sense financially. It would cost $1.5 million to build a new landfill or $15 million over 20 years to have the material trucked to the Stone’s Throw landfill in Tallassee. Instead, the city will spend $152,362 to buy the Clay Services Corp. land and stretch its usable life out to 50 years, Brewer said.
The city has also tried and failed to get approval to establish an inert landfill at two other sites, one in the city limits and one in the county, so it seems this decision is the best for all concerned.
It will still take two to three years to get the Alabama Department of Environmental Management’s final approval for the city to use the extra property as part of the landfill but at least the city won’t face the crisis of closing it.