NORTH PORT - After protests, North Port city leaders have thrown out a plan for a waste transfer site. Concerned residents living near potential locations say their fight has paid off. Meanwhile the city wastes thousands of dollars on a halfway completed study.
In under two weeks, resident Tony Treadwell says he helped obtain signatures from more than 900 of his closest neighbors for a petition to stop the proposed transfer station planned near homes. "It was industrializing an area that was really residential."
It was really only a study. It will now be a half way done one.
Commissioners voted to halt the more than $70,000 research project having already dished out more than $40,000. "I think it is great that there has been a win for the people of North Port. I think we put a case forward commissioners listened to."
"It wasn't something that wasn't turning out the way that would best fit the community." Mayor Linda Yates says perhaps its biggest downfall was the need to keep a potential site close to where the collection vehicles are housed. Five sites were recommended near Toledo Blade Boulevard and housing developments. "It didn't make sense to go though with that if we couldn't get the site right basically in the beginning and lets address it sometime in the future."
The goal of such a site was to potentially save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year by bringing the trucks to one location and having larger ones make the hike to the landfill. Also the potential to sort and sell their own recycling goods. Yates says there may even be other options down the road. "One of the things we've brought up for consideration is outsourcing possibly the solid waste department. That is another factor which ways into this as far as timing."
The now largest city in Sarasota County certainly has the potential to grow and so might the need to better deal with its trash. Those like Treadwell believe this plan at this time was nothing but rubbish. "This could have run into several millions of dollars. We could have all paid higher taxes instead of lower."
Commissioners say they could one day revisit the idea but will probably look for a more remote location.