Gainesville residents angry landfill plans to expand - CBS46 News

Gainesville residents angry landfill plans to expand

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GAINESVILLE, GA (CBS46) -

Neighbors who live near a landfill near Athens Highway in Gainesville said they will not give up their fight to prevent the dump from expanding.

Many residents said they recently noticed a foul odor coming from the landfill.

"We thought it was something dead in the woods or something like that," said Richard Ross, who signed a petition opposing the landfill expansion.  "Then we found out it was that landfill over there.  It's really unbearable sometimes."

The owner recently purchased a 51-acre tract of land nearby and got the property rezoned to allow him to expand the dump.  It is owned by a contributor to Gov. Nathan Deal's campaign.

Hall County Commissioner Ashley Bell tried to stop the commission from rezoning the property but his motion failed.

"To us it doesn't really matter who owns the property," said Bell.  "Whether it was the president or the governor doesn't matter to us.  You're adding a landfill to a part of town that doesn't want any more landfills."

Bell told CBS Atlanta News that owners of the landfill recently started dumping raw food at the dump which could be a violation of their county permit.

"You don't violate the rights of people who live in that area to be able to breathe fresh air, to enjoy their property," said Bell.  "And it's just an unfortunate situation that we haven't taken a thorough look at this to make sure they're on the right side of the law." 

Bell said Hall County is now doing a thorough investigation of what's being dumped at the landfill.  He said he had no timetable on when that investigation will be complete.

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