Counter to state law, Lowndes County did not hold public hearings within 45 days before the decision to close the waste collection centers.
GEORGIA COMPREHENSIVE SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT OF 1990 AS AMENDED THROUGH 2004: An Abstract from OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED Volume 10 Title 12 Article 2 Part 1 Conservation and Natural Resources:
§ 12-8-24.2. Public hearing prior to entering contract regarding landfill
The governing authority of any county or municipal corporation and the directors or managers of any local authority or special district shall hold a public hearing before entering into a contract for the sale, lease, or management of a landfill or solid waste disposal facility owned by such county, municipal corporation, local authority, or special district. The party responsible for holding such a public hearing shall cause notice of the hearing to be posted at the site of the landfill or facility and to run in a newspaper of general circulation serving the county, municipal corporation, local authority, or special district not less than 30 nor more than 45 days prior to the date of the hearing.
Can anyone argue that “or solid waste disposal facility owned by such county” does not include Lowndes County’s former solid waste collection centers? Was the Lowndes County Commission’s approval of the solid waste ordinance that abolished the collection centers even legal? No public hearings were held before that vote of 11 December 2012. Nor before their stealth meeting of 4 June 2012 in which the VDT reported
“Commissioners also plan to outsource waste management services to a private contractor in the next year.”Nor before their retreat of 31 March 2012 about which the VDT reported
“Commissioners decided that getting out of the “trash business” was best”
It’s not clear when they really made their decision. But no public hearings were held on the subject at any time in 2012. Actually, no public hearings about waste disposal have been held by Lowndes County since 2009, two Chairs back, at a time when no elected Commissioner or Chair currently serving was then serving.
It appears that the Lowndes County Commission decision to close the county’s waste collection centers did not follow state law.