While a decision has not been made, a proposed landfill in the Curtis community was discussed with the Panola County Board of Supervisors.
Panola Waste has held a parcel of land for the construction of a rubbish landfill in that area since 1998 when Jim Thomas and others determined there was a need in the county, Tyler Smith, attorney for Thomas and Panola Waste, explained.
"At that time, Mr. Thomas came to the Board of Supervisors and told them of his desire to put a rubbish pit on Curtis Road," he said.
Smith said after the matter went to the supervisors, it was taken to DEQ for approval.
"We sent in all of the paperwork that was needed and even got a letter from the supervisors in support of the pit," he said.
Smith said the matter was advertised as required by law and no opposition was present during a public hearing.
During the early stages of the project, the Panola County Land Development Commission was created.
"We took the information to the members of the planning commission for informational purposes," he said. "The matter had already been approved by the supervisors."
"So far, the group has spent $31,000 getting the site prepared," he said. "Right now all we need you to do is approve what was approved in 1998.
"The DEQ permit hinges on the county’s approval," Smith added.
Attorney Jimmy McClure, who represents the people of the Curtis community who do not want the landfill, told the supervisors that Panola Waste was seeking a special exception that would allow the property to be reclassified to house a rubbish landfill.
According to McClure, a special exception should only be granted when it will be a benefit to the community and not present any sort of hazard.
"The main objection that the people of Curtis Road have against the landfill is that it is located in the middle of the community," he said.
In addition, McClure said the proposed pit would be situated in the middle of a flood plain.
"It would be located just 100 yards from a drainage canal," he said.
Residents are also concerned about the problems a rubbish pit could cause with their drinking water.
"The residents do not want to see the ground water in the area become contaminated," McClure said. "That may be an unfounded concern, but it is still a concern."
McClure said the people of Curtis would have no problem with a landfill in the area if it were located just three miles down the road where there are no homes that would be effected.
"There is already one rubbish landfill in Panola County," McClure said. "The City of Sardis has one and it is not located anywhere near a home."
Supervisor Robert Avant said he wanted to know what DEQ said about the contamination of the ground water in the area before he could act on the issue.
"I think the water supply is something that really needs to be taken into consideration," he said. "I personally need to know what DEQ said about that before I can make a decision one way or the other."
Smith said DEQ had already conducted studies on the matter and was waiting on the supervisors before issuing a permit.
"The permit is in Jackson," he said. "All we are waiting on is approval from the county on something you already approved."
Board president Jerry Perkins asked to see DEQ’s findings on the rubbish landfill before the county voted.
Smith handed over the results and the board took the matter under advisement to research the issue further.