Carter County set to buy building to get back into recycling

John Thompson • Updated Oct 21, 2019 at 10:47 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Following a unanimous vote to purchase property and buildings in an unnamed location, the Carter County Commission may have put the Carter County Landfill and the city of Elizabethton back in the recycling business.

A fire at the old recycling center in the former Bemberg water filtration plant forced the landfill to cease operations in August. Since that time, the county’s Landfill Committee has examined three locations for a suitable replacement.

The one selected by the Landfill Committee was appraised at $400,000. The owner offered it to the county for $380,000 and also offered to throw in some heavy equipment at no additional cost.

After getting unanimous approval earlier in October by the Landfill Committee, the committee’s chairwoman, Sonja Culler, took the proposal to the Budget Committee a week ago. She asked that committee to recommend the purchase price of $380,000 and an additional $50,000 to prepare the site for its new role. The Budget Committee approved the recommendation.

Budget Committee Chairman Ross Garland made the recommendation to the County Commission on Monday night. The motion was approved unanimously.

Following the vote, Culler thanked the commission and said the new recycling center should be open for business in 6-8 weeks.

On another project that is nearing completion by the landfill, Culler said the rebuilt convenience station in Roan Mountain should be open in early November. Much of that project was made possible by students of Hampton High School’s architecture class.

Monday’s meeting was the first one held since long-time commissioner Ronnie Trivett died. Several commissioners took the opportunity to speak about Trivett and his contributions to the county.

“Ronnie was my friend. He served this county well. He will be missed,” County Commission Chairman Ray Lyons said.

“He gave it 110% every meeting,” Commissioner Nancy Brown said.

One citizen objected to the Budget Committee holding a meeting at the time of Trivett’s funeral. Garland said the meeting was delayed so committee members could express their condolences to the Trivett family during visitation before the funeral, but he said the need for advertising a new meeting date was a consideration with the decision to go ahead with the meeting.

Several commissioners said Trivett would have understood and approved. “Ronnie would have wanted us to carry out county business” more than one commissioner said.