Carter County Commission approves plans to purchase building for recycling

John Thompson • Oct 22, 2019 at 8:19 PM

ELIZABETHTON — The Carter County Commission gave its overwhelming approval to get back into the recycling business on Monday night by voting 22-1 to purchase the Lewis Wood Products property.

Mike Hill cast the only dissenting vote on the motion to purchase the property.

The purchase would include two buildings and about five acres of land in the Cherokee Industrial Park. It is only a short distance from the former recycling center in the Bemberg water filtration plant.

Monday night’s motion was to purchase the buildings and land for $380,000. The property had been appraised for $400,000. The commission also approved the expenditure of $50,000 to make the building suitable for recycling operations.

Brad Burke, director of fiancee for Carter County, said the funds will come from the unassigned general fund balance.

Sonja Culler, Landfill Committee chairwoman, said the purchase should be completed in a week or less. She said the only things still to accomplish are a deed search and completion of the paperwork.

Once the property is finally purchased by the county, landfill manager Benny Lyons said it should take 6-8 weeks to get the work done on converting the building to recycling operations.

The county was forced to cease its operations in the old recycling center after a fire damaged the facility in August. That resulted in the shutdown of recycling operations not just in Carter County but also in Elizabethton,

Culler said environmental officials and workers were in the old building this week. She said there is hope that some work could be done at the old plant until the new plant is ready. The most-needed work is recycling of cardboard. Culler said Lyons is looking into the possibility of starting cardboard recycling at the old plant.