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franklin county times

Phil Campbell council takes action against illegal dumpsite

By Staff
Melissa Cason
PHIL CAMPBELL – The Phil Campbell Town Council quickly addressed the issues surrounding the illegal dumpsite on town property during the regular council meeting earlier this week.
Mayor Jerry Mays said the council had no idea that there was a dump site near the entrance of the old walking trail behind the Little League ball fields, and that the town is working diligently to get the area cleaned up and keep it clean.
"I assure you the council was not aware of this," Mays said during the meeting. "This dump will be cleaned up from one end to the other and swift and drastic action will be taken."
Mays and the other council members learned of the illegal dumpsite, which is on town property, after residents Steve and Debra Bell brought it to their attention the first week in September.
The Bells found the site after smelling smoke and deciding to investigate. What they found was an illegal dumpsite operated by the town employees.
"We were told this was a staging area for items until they can be taken to the landfill," Debra said. "We were told items were not being burned here, but they were."
Debra said this is not the first time the town has been found to have an illegal dumpsite on town property.
In 2007, the Bells found a similar site near their home, and after reporting the site to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management in Decatur, it was cleaned.
"We thought the situation had been addressed and had put it out of our minds," Debra said. "Now, 18 months later, we find a larger dumpsite in an isolated area."
Debra said she is pleased with the council's actions regarding this matter, but hopes this is not a repeat of last year's actions.
"We were told this was resolved in 2007 and now it's 2008," she said. "I hope that we won't have to revisit this issue in 2009. I have all the confidence in my town that we won't."
Debra said she wanted to protect the town and its residents, and it's because of this she spoke up and make the problem public knowledge.
Mays said the town has been working all week to get the area cleaned up. During the meeting, Mays said he had talked to ADEM earlier in the week, and discovered that new legislation will be in affect that makes it illegal for towns to have a staging area for large items.
In other business, the council voted to: