Co-owner of recycling center tells council company cleaning up, talking to EPA
Posted: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 9:07 pm
By DONNA RYDER
Dr. Wright Jernigan, co-owner of Greenway Recover and Recycle, told Union City Council members the company is doing its best to clean up after the latest fire at the business.
He appeared before the council Tuesday night during the visitors portion of the agenda. He said they have been in touch with the state and the EPA and have been informed there was nothing toxic during the last fire. “It all tested out fine,” he said.
Jernigan said the company has been in contact with the EPA every couple of weeks since the business originally caught fire in September.
He said they are cleaning up, but are limited on what they can do because the materials are still smoldering and they’ve been told by the EPA they cannot use machinery. Some of the items are being recycled, but they are limited on what can be done with the rest, he said.
Councilman Johnny Bacon, who owns a business near Greenway, questioned Jernigan, asking who cleared the slabs prior to the latest fire. Jernigan said it was not Greenway.
Bacon, who said he had continually brought up the condition of the property with the city’s codes enforcement department for a year, said he spoke with property owner Danny Montgomery in April and told him if something was not done, he would lose his building.
Earlier in the meeting Tuesday night, Jimmy Temple with codes enforcement said he has told the owners the combustibles must be moved immediately, but that Tuesday afternoon they were only loading items by hand on to a trailer.
He said the state has set up a meeting with Greenway in Jackson on Nov. 15 in order to get an action plan in place.
“They were working today, but slowly,” Temple said, adding Greenway has been told they cannot take materials off site to be burned and they cannot bury it. The company must take the materials to an approved landfill, he said.
“The owners are aware that it must be cleaned up.”
Bacon said he and his employees were advised to evacuate their building. He said the burning materials have affected his health, as well as that of other people in Union City.
“It needs to be addressed. It needs to be taken care of,” he said.
Bacon said had the latest fire occurred during the evening that “everything on that end of town would have been gone.”
In other business, after the meeting was opened in prayer by city attorney Jim Glasgow Jr., the council:
• Approved street closures on Nov. 26 for the Community Christmas Tree Lighting and Union City Christmas parade to follow. Closures include all entrances of Washington and Second streets at Bill Burnett Circle from 4:30-6:30 p.m. and First Street from Reelfoot Shopping Center to Leah Street from 6:30-8.
• Adopted a Records Management Plan. It spells out how long to keep records on file. The current resolution was approved about 10 years ago.
• Approved a resolution authorizing the issuance of general obligation bonds not to exceed $5,750,000. City manager Kathy Dillon stressed that just because the amount is $5,750,000, does not mean the city will actually borrow that amount. The funds are expected to be used to pay $2,440,000 to refinance the outstanding capital outlay notes issued to purchase the industrial park property; $240,000 to finance improvements to the railroad spur; $963,675 to finance various road improvements, including turning lanes on Everett Boulevard and a service road for Discovery Park of America; $1,550,000 to finance water improvements, including an elevated water tank; and $365,000 to finance sewer improvements.
Hailey said interests rates are low now, with the city expecting to borrow the money at between a 2.3 percent and 2.5 percent fixed rate. The city is paying 4.7 percent on the industrial park notes.
The council also approved an initial resolution authorizing the issuance of general obligation bonds not to exceed $40,000. The council originally approved an initial resolution authorizing the issuance of general obligation bonds on Oct. 16. The additional amount brings the initial resolution to the dollar level authorized at Tuesday night’s meeting.
Simply stated, the initial resolution authorized the city to “think about” the issuance of general obligation bonds, while the resolution authorizing the issuance of the bonds Tuesday night names the projects the city wishes to fund with the bonds.
• Agreed to remove the certification requirement for Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator 2 and to add a new job description for a Wastewater Treatment Plant Crew Leader, which also would not include the certification requirement. City employee Dewayne Hensley said since director Jason Moss resigned, it has been difficult to fill his position.
Hensley said the state has informed him the curriculum for certification is being revamped since only three people passed the exam out of 280 people this year. He said people “aren’t knocking down the door” to work in the wastewater field and private companies are getting into bidding wars for those who do have their certification.
• Learned from Lindsay Frilling with Obion County Joint Economic Council that they are in the process of getting the city’s industrial park approved for the Select Tennessee Certified Site Program.
• Was asked by resident Chris Norton to do something about a neighbor who has been raising boxer dogs. She said they have converted a 35-foot building into a dog kennel and have anywhere between seven and 17 dogs at one time. She complained of the noise and the smell.
Mrs. Norton said not only is this a noise violation, but it is also a code violation for having a commercial kennel inside the city limits.
Temple said there was a complaint a couple of years ago and the owners told the city they were personal animals. He said he spoke with the owners again recently and told them they would have to move their operation outside the city limits or stop selling the dogs. He said the owners did have an online site where they were selling the dogs and they have been told to take it down.
He added the owners said it was a hobby, but that it is not a hobby when income is more than $3,000 in one year. He said two dogs would bring that amount.
• Recognized Bacon for his years of service on the council. He decided not to seek re-election.
Published in The Messenger 11.7.12