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Old documents lead to land dispute

By Staff
POSTED – Kenneth Young, left, and Armster Young III stand beside the no trespassing sign and gate they put up on family land adjacent to Waste Management's Pine Ridge Landfill. The gate blocks a dirt road that runs through the property. Photo by Carisa McCain/The Meridian Star
By Lynette Wilson / staff writer
Sept. 27, 2002
After the death of his father in 1994, Armster Young III started poking around in his father's business affairs.
He found land.
What Young found led to a property dispute between his family and Waste Management Inc.
Young said Waste Management is using at least 7 acres of land on the south side of Murphy Road, between Highway 19 and Highway 80, that belongs to his family.
He said Waste Management claims ownership of the land through "adverse possession" the acquisition of title to land by continuous possession for a certain period of time.
Pine Ridge Landfill opened on 165 acres of land in 1988 more than 10 years ago.
The landfill accepts household and other city waste. It is classified as a Subtitle D landfill and is also licensed to receive nonhazardous waste, including asbestos.
Young's father sold 79 acres of land to a Meridian attorney in 1949; the land changed hands two other times before Waste Management officials made a purchase in 1987.
Young said the there are discrepancies between what his father meant to sell in 1949 and the property described in the sale documents.
Mediation attempt
Both parties met last week at the offices of Engineering Plus in Meridian to try to resolve the dispute. They looked at the deeds and descriptions plotted out on paper, said Neal Carson, Lauderdale County engineer.
But, Carson said, there's still some dispute between the two parties. He said any further negotiations will need to be handled by the two parties and without county officials attempting to serve as mediators.
What's next?
In a letter dated April 28, 1999, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality modified a 250-foot setback distance the required distance required between the landfill's entrance and the property line to 148 feet.
Sarah Simpson, Waste Management director of communications said company representatives met with the family a number of times.
The Young family has spent more than $11,000 on surveying and lawyer's fees, and hours pouring through public records at the Lauderdale County Courthouse.
Young said the next step will be handled by the family's attorney.