Landfill committee meeting laced with discussion about July commission

The Carter County Landfill Committee met for their monthly meeting Monday evening at the county courthouse as normal, but the confrontations from July’s full commission meeting carried additional weight to the proceedings that the board could not escape.

Three different people came to Solid Waste Director Benny Lyons’ defense during the public comment section, including Melissa Troutman, who spoke during the full commission meeting as well.

“For the record, my director, Benny Lyons, has never used bad language or threatened anyone during the initial phone conversation between him and Mr. Grant,” Troutman said.

According to Troutman, Bill Grant has continued to decry Lyons and his work with the landfill. In particular, she said he has accused her of being in love with Lyons.

“I believe this is a travesty,” she said. “The commissioners should be thanked for taking the high road.”

Lyons said before the incident at the courthouse, members of Grant’s Construction never came up to him to discuss the problems they had with the landfill.

“Neither one of these guys have ever came and talked with me,” Lyons said.

He said the gravel paths leading to the dump sites are constantly shifting due to a variety of causes, including materials decomposing underneath the gravel, the gravel itself washing away due to erosion or the gravel being scrapped off as part of the cleanup process.

When the committee was not discussing the events of three weeks ago, however, the committee discussed imposing a fee for people who do not put tarps over their trash as they drive it to the landfill.

“I have had a number of people complain about the debris that is flying out on the Stoney Creek highway,” Commissioner Robert Acuff said.

Lyons said he recently met with the landfill director of Jefferson County, who said they currently have a $20 fee for people who do not put tarps over their vehicles carrying the debris. He said even state troopers are getting involved in the issue.

People who do not tarp their vehicles, they said, often have debris falling off their vehicles, ending up in the middle of the road and making the landfill harder to clean or further endangering the safety of those working there.

County Attorney Josh Hardin confirmed they could have the ability to turn people away if they come without a tarp and are unwilling to pay the fee.

The committee voted all in favor of imposing the $20 un-tarped fee, which will go into effect January 1, 2020.

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