As we try to post information that is factual, relevant, and current – this post will have a slight personal angle. As I write this, my significant other and I are two and half months in and it has been a devastating whirlwind of events to say the least. Hence, the personal aspect. However, I will try to hold my tongue and be as factually as possible in recording the timeline of events.
Cumberland County Meetings and Hearings Dates:
- June 7th – Board of Supervisors/County Waste Community Meeting
- June 12th – Board of Supervisors Meeting
- June 14th – Planning Commission Meeting Public Hearing
- June 18th – Planning Commission Meeting Public Hearing
- June 25th – Planning Commission Meeting
- June 28th – Board of Supervisors Meeting
- July 10th – Board of Supervisors Meeting
- July 28th – Board of Supervisors Meeting and Public Hearing
- August 2nd – Board of Supervisors “Special Meeting”
- For us, citizens, at this point it has been about two and a half months. It all started early June/late May. For myself, it started “officially” on June 1st. For us, it’s all about protecting our personal investments, our way of life, our clean water, our wildlife, our air, our homes!
- For Cumberland County, it’s been about two years as this all started in 2016 – according to a news article – when County Waste “approached” the county. For them, the county, it’s all about the revenue that this will bring with no consideration around the cost, the long-term irreversible cost.
- For County Waste – I’m not certain when it really started but I’m assuming before 2016 when they began looking for their next target to accept a mega dump while making themselves profit by bringing in trash from other states. They started buying up land in 2017 – according to a source – while having those who sold land to them sign a confidentiality agreement to keep it hush hush. For County Waste, it’s all about profit, making money, buying low selling high. It’s a business for them and they are not being neighborly despite how they spin it.
That is the short version. If you want the longer version, with additional dates and commentary…here you go. Enjoy.
- May 25th – County Waste/Green Ridge submitted applications to Cumberland County (per Cumberland Today 6/6)
- June 1st – certified letter goes out to adjacent property owners as official notification that an application has been filed for Rezoning by Green Ridge Facility and that a Planning Commission Hearing will be held June 14th.
- June 1st – certified letter goes out to adjacent property owners as official notification that an application has been filed for a Conditional Use Permit by Green Ridge Facility and that a Planning Commission Hearing will be held June 14th. (We didn’t pick up the letters until June 17th. Only because the Post Office is in the opposite direction of our main travels.)
- June 7th – Board of Supervisors/County Waste Community Meeting (We didn’t attend this meeting and were later informed that the meeting was quite heated and the residents of both Powhatan and Cumberland were fully against this proposed mega landfill being quite expressive.)
- June 12th – certified letters goes out, similar from June 1st letters, with the exception being the stated meeting was for the Board of Supervisors Public Hearing to be held on June 28th.
- June 14th – Planning Commission Meeting Public Hearing (The public had many comments, questions, concerns, around this proposed mega dump. So many that the meeting was continued to the 18th. The purpose of the hearing, as I understand, was to allow the public an opportunity to ask questions. Those questions would be typed up, along with answers, and given back to the public during the next public hearing. I must say that the “answers” to my questions were and still are inadequate and vague.)
- June 18th – Planning Commission Meeting Public Hearing (More of the same – questions, comments, etc. The Public was angry to say the least and quite vocal.)
- June 19th – Powhatan Town Hall Meeting (Thank God for this meeting – we were finally given some answers, clarifications, direction, and hope. Sad to say this came from our neighboring county and not our own home county. This is the evening that the team now known as Cumberland County Landfill Awareness began.)
- June 25th – Planning Commission Meeting (Two recommendations given: 1. Deny rezoning. 2. Approve the Conditional Use Permit with conditions/concerns that would be addressed by Board of Supervisors and County Waste. I was extremely disappointed in the realization that the Planning Commission simply gives “recommendations” to the Board and carries, in the end, zero weight in this matter.)
- June 28th (into June 29th) – Board of Supervisors Public Hearing (Approved the Rezoning and Conditional Use Permit and the Draft Host Agreement around 1:30 am June 29th. I was physically ill during this meeting. The team that developed from the June 19th Powhatan Townhall presented facts, relevant information, legal cases, news articles, etc. etc. on how this was a bad deal all the way around. We begged for them to slow down, take a closer look, do their due diligence but to no avail. In my personal opinion, their minds were made up on June 1st. It was truly sickening.)
- July 10th – Board of Supervisors Meeting (This meeting was the regular monthly Board of Supervisors meeting. The Host Agreement was on the agenda. Our team had read this agreement and found many valid concerns, which we presented, which we were told we would be given answers…I’m still waiting for those answers. The Board decided to defer the Host Agreement for the next monthly meeting for August 14th. I remember feeling a sense of relief thinking that I could now catch my breath, read everything I had, regroup to understand what just happened during these past 40 days, and determine a course of action to defend our way of life)
- July 23rd – Planning Commission Meeting (This is the regular monthly planning commission meeting, questions were brought up around the proposed mega landfill in which the response was to ask the Board. Once again, no answers and left with fear, confusion, and an undeniable sense of helplessness.)
- July 25th – A colleague informed me that the Board Of Supervisors called a “Special Meeting” for August 2nd. (I remember losing it at work, crying hysterically, wondering when it would end! I had just felt that I could regroup and another bomb of a meeting is called – which, interestingly enough, did not hold Public Comment.)
- August 2nd – Board of Supervisors “Special Meeting” (Disgust. One board member stood up for the citizens, one. The rest sat in silence. A thirteen-minute meeting, according to the FOIA officer, in which homeowners, landowners, families, lost property value, clean drinking water, freedom of speech – read the newly signed Host Agreement…which, by the way, I was made aware of three hours before the meeting.)
Personal comments…I’m still amazed at how a handful of men can ruin the lives and land of so many. And so callously, rudely, haphazardly, and arrogantly! I’ve read and heard responses/comments from the board members of how concerned citizens “have unfounded fear”, “have hissy fits over safety”, “rude to question”, and my personal favorite “how you (citizens) need to suffer for the greater good”.
Citizens are still gathering their wits around what is going on and the agreement is signed. And that agreement, The Host Agreement’s “property protection” plan does not include residents within the 1/2 mile of the border, offers “fair market value”, states a deadline to sign up, with a confidentiality clause.
The decision to let this private company into a county, who’s comprehensive plan says nothing of mega landfill and states to keep rural community, to build their first-ever mega landfill is beyond me!