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The Landfill Battle Starts Again

At the special session of the Butler County Fiscal Court on Thursday night a lawsuit involving Butler County was discussed and explained.

Third District Magistrate Chad Tyree asked to discuss the suit. Tyree said people were confused about the lawsuit, and the future of a landfill owned by the City of Bowling Green in Butler County.

Tyree explained that as he understood it, Butler County's suit in Butler Circuit Court helps to keep all the County's options open. County Attorney Dick Deye agreed with that assessment of the suit, and further explained the request for a declaratory judgment. Deye said the suit asks the circuit judge to declare what rights the County has in the case, including but not limited to the County's right of first refusal to buy the property, and if the property can be sold at all.

An article on June 21st, 2014 in the Bowling Green Daily News reported that the City of Bowling Green planned to sell an unused portion of their landfill to Owl's Head Alloys. The story states the Owl's Head intends to open a landfill on the property for the purpose of disposing of salt slag.

Approximately 67-acres of the property was declared surplus property by the City of Bowling Green to make way for the sale to Owl's Head Alloys. Bowling Green notified both the Butler County Fiscal Court and the City of Morgantown of their intention to sell the land in a letter dated December 2, 2013. The original agreement on the landfill states that both Butler County and the City of Morgantown have to be given the first chance to purchase the property. According to the Daily News, the sale price of the land would be $167,500, with Owl's Head Alloys agreeing to pay legal expenses incurred by the City of Bowling Green.

Butler County Attorney Dick Deye told the Court on Thursday night that the county contends that the City of Bowling Green doesn't have the right to subdivide the property and sell the unused portion because of their obligations for environmental monitoring of the property.
Deye said he expects a response from the City of Bowling Green in the next several days, but has no timetable on when the matter might be ruled upon in court. Depending upon the ruling of the court both Butler County and/or the City of Morgantown could exercise their right of first refusal and buy the property.

Butler County Judge-Executive David Fields said that more information is needed concerning the case before purchase of the property could be discussed.

If the courts rule in favor of the City of Bowling Green and Owl's Head Alloys that also doesn't guarantee that another landfill will be opened on the property. In 2013 the Fiscal Court adopted new, more stringent guidelines for opening landfills in Butler County. Owl's Head would still be bound by those procedures, and by more stringent state guidelines adopted since the landfill was originally opened in 1977.

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Story by Joe K. Morris, Beech Tree News

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