People in neighboring Escambia County, Alabama and surrounding areas are all in a dither about a developer's plan to build an "enviromentally friendly" landfill. Groups are organizing. Citizens are wearing green ribbons, and the Conecuh County Commission has caved to the pressure by rejecting the idea.
In truth, however, given enough money can anyone or any municipality stop landfill development? There was opposition to Fob James landfill in Escambia County, Alabama, but did that stop it? It is thriving - taking in garbage from at least three states if not more, defacing beautiful, once pristine land and causing a host of problems.
Here's the deal: Landfill developers search out rural counties where there is little established law or regulation to block them. Landfill developers generally have the best lawyers to represent them and know ALL the arguments. The developers in the Conecuh County planned landfill have options on 5000 acres of property near the "Fob James" landfill. The land is owned by a large company involved in the insurance industry. Previously it was owned by giant paper products firm. It will be interesting to see if the options are renewed later this year given the public outcry. How much would an option on 5000 acres cost? If a 1500 acre landfill were to be constructed out of this acreage it would be one of the largest in the United States. Big money here folks!
According to published reports mostly by Connie Baggett who is a correspondent for the Mobile Register, the principals in "Conecuh Woods," the landfill development company, are Donald W. "Jimmy" Stone and David W. Kirby, who, according to the public relations mouthpiece, Patrick Slevin, are both from the Tampa Bay area. I couldn't find out much on Mr. Stone, but Mr. Kirby is fairly interesting.
Kirby, according to Slevin, is also a regional manager for the Tenax Corporation which has a plant in Evergreen, Alabama. In Florida, Kirby is listed as a "landfill consultant."
Wondering why a man's company would give him the time to go about developing landfills, I took a look at Tenax themselves:
Tenax, among other things, manufactures liners for landfills. Their main office is in Baltimore, Maryland and their president's name is Giovanni Capra. Capra is associated with several companies, one which is a leading manufacturer of sport gliders - Silent Alisport. Further checking reveals that the Chairman of the board of Tenax is Cesare Beretta who is also president and CEO of Advanced Geotech Systems which among other things does landfill design.
I also think it is interesting that Conecuh Woods has the resources and savvy to hire a top notch public relations firm to run interference for them. The Slevin Group based in Tallahassee, Florida is prepared to go to the wall to promote their client's interest. Read through their website and you get some idea of how they operate.
Despite the fact that I'm cheering for them, I don't think the anti-landfill crowd in south Alabama has a chance against the money that is going to be thrown into the legal battle. History has shown that landfill developers don't give up.
When I wrote my fictional book, The Publisher, a major sub-plot of the book was about a drug ring ran out of a network of landfill operations. I did a lot of research into landfills and almost lost track of my story because the subject of organized crime involvement in landfills was so fascinating. In the Northeast, organized crime families like the Genovese family, made a fortune off of landfills. I came away from my landfill research convinced that it can be dangerous to your health to oppose landfill developers!
Good luck to the people in Conecuh County and Escambia County, Alabama in their fight.
Letter from Mayor Terri Carter to Bill O'Reilly and FOX & Friends...
Saturday, October 20, 2012 7:03 AM
Subject: WENDY LONG
I feel sorry for the citizens of the State of New York. I am not a liberal and would not be voting for Senator Gillebrand but would NOT vote for Wendy Long either. I would have to write in a candidate, maybe Mayor Rudy Gulliani!
Mrs. Long's family owns a corporation called Timmons Corporation of which I believe she was an Officer. This corporation owns a SUPERFUND Site in Colonie, New York and owes the citizens of New York and the United States MILLIONS! Timmons refused to clean up the site so the State's environmental agency stepped in and did it but it wasnt good enough so EPA stepped in and cleaned it up. Timmons stopped paying the taxes on that site as well. Wendy sounds good but does she practice what she preaches? I also believe she has a bit of a checkered past from College.
We know all this because we are fighting her brother Donald W. "Jimmy" Stone Jr from turning our State, "Alabama the Beautiful" into "Alabama the DUMP!" It would appear that the Stone family has a very bad & selfish track record so why would we believe he would do any different in Alabama than he did in New York!
We can back up all that is said here. And, if you are interested I can send it all to you. Thank you for taking the time to read this and have a great weekend.
Mayor Terri Carter
I received this dump timeline from Mayor Terri Carter, Repton AL.......
May 30, 2006
– Conecuh Woods LLC created with Donald W. Stone Jr "Jimmy" as Member. Agent is Nicholas S. Hare Jr, 122 Pineville Rd, Monroeville, Al 36460.
Frist Week of December 2006
I received a phone call telling me that there was an industry about to locate in Repton that we wouldn’t want and we needed to start asking questions. I pressed this person a little longer and they finally told me it was a landfill. I immediately had one of my Council Members, Mr. James Bailey, call our County Commissioner DK Bodiford and ask about this issue. Mr. Bodiford denied knowing anything and couldn’t understand how we would know before him. He continued to talk about how he didn’t know anything about the project and then proceeded to say to the penny how much we were losing by sending our garbage to Escambia County. His conversation left us to believe that he knew exactly about this project.
Approx. Dec. 9th, 2006
– While on vacation in Colorado, Les Prouty with Prouty Real Estate phoned me to say he wanted to set up a meeting with me. Once I returned the meeting was set for Dec. 20th.
December 20, 2006
– The meeting. Mr. Prouty brought Chipper Hare, a local attorney whose wife is the 35th Judicial Circuit Judge, with him. Les Prouty and Chipper Hare (Nicholas S. Hare Jr) were at the meeting representing Conecuh Woods LLC, Les Prouty as their Realtor and Chipper Hare as their legal counsel. The Town of Repton’s legal counsel, Jack Weaver, was also present.
In the meeting Les Prouty continuously said that he involved Chipper Hare because he had POLICITCAL CONNECTIONS. Les Prouty & Chipper Hare proceeded to tell me and our attorney that this project was already a DONE DEAL and since it was steps outside our town limit there was nothing the Town of Repton could do about it. They said the Conecuh County Commission was already onboard! Then, he and Chipper continued to try to convince me & our attorney that having a 5000 acre dump just outside our town limits was going to be fabulous because we would be receiving garbage as far away as New York! Les told me this wasn’t about business for him but that it was personal. He said that he cared about me as an individual and our community and it was about bringing new industry just for us! Chipper continuously asked what his client could do for Repton because they wanted to be a good neighbor! After about the 3rd comment about Chipper’s POLITICAL CONNECTION, I finally said to Les that he didn’t need to remind me of Chipper’s connections again because I didn’t care that his wife was a Judge! I also told them that Repton was NOT for sale and they could go somewhere else.
I felt as though they were trying to buy my silence or my support.
I returned home devastated thinking that our community was going to be dumped on and there was nothing I could do to stop it! So, I figured that if it was going to happen, I would make it as miserable as possible for them. I got out the phonebook and called as many people as I knew in the general area, told them what was happening and gave them the Commissioners home telephone numbers. The Commissioners were bombarded with phone calls until their first meeting of the new year.
January 4, 2007
– Citizens for a Clean Southwest Alabama is formed. This non-profit organization was formed to fight this landfill. I, Terri Carter, was thankful because this organization had members who held PhD’s and MD’s that could research and look at this project with a scientific mind rather than our emotional reaction. I wanted to know if, scientifically, this was not a good project. What we found is that ALL landfills eventually leak and they should be built out of NEED not GREED. Since, we had a regional landfill just 12 miles from Repton; there was NO need for another one let alone one that originally wanted to receive waste from 48 states. CCSA went on to research extensively and educate the populous on this subject. CCSA even presented their findings to a landfill design professor at Auburn University to make sure that they were not misinforming the public.
January 8, 2007
– The first Conecuh County Commission meeting of the year held in the Old Evergreen High School at 9am. Conecuh Woods LLC was there, Donald W. "Jimmy" Stone Jr and David Kirby (Regional Salesman for Tenax Corporation which produces landfill liners), along with their Realtor, Les Prouty, and their attorney, Chipper Hare. There were over 200 Conecuh County Citizens there to protest this project. The room was small and people were literally watching through the windows from the outside. Conecuh Woods made a presentation; I (Mayor Terri Carter) made a presentation on behalf of the Town of Repton as did our attorney. A local citizen, Johnny Andrews, pleaded with the Commission to take a vote right then and to vote NO to the project. You could tell they didn’t want to but there was so much pressure from the crowd that they ALL voted NO.
– Don Smith, PhD. (Biomedical Engineering) a member of CCSA sends a letter to the Conecuh County Commission requesting they appoint a Citizens Advisory Committee concerning the landfill. The Commission does this and appoints, Dr. Don Smith, Odessa Wallace, Larry Ryland, Marc McIntyre (local businessman) Darryl Harper (Economic Development Director), Winston Foshee (County Engineer). The Commission informs the committee that their job is to research NOT to recommend approval or disapproval of the project. However, months later, the only research done is by Dr. Don Smith. The other members refused to hear Dr. Smith’s findings and in a regular Conecuh County Commission meeting in November 2007, Marc McIntyre tells the Commission that the Committee recommends that the approval of the Conecuh Woods dump project.
All of the committee was in favor of the dump except Dr. Don Smith who abstained due to the fact that the committee was to research not makes a recommendation. Dr. Smith said that the committee did no research and refused to hear the research he had done.
Approx. March 200
– Les Prouty calls Johnny Andrews, President of CCSA and leaves a message for him to return the call. Mr. Prouty thinks he hangs up but doesn’t and continues to tell someone that Mr. Andrews should be able to be bought by offering a fishing trip. However, when playing this to a mutual friend the friend accidentally erased it.
– Conecuh Woods presents the project to the Conecuh County Commission and compares landfills built in Florida to this proposed project. However, the Conecuh Woods project will not have any of the facilities / features that are shown to the commission of compared landfills.
Slevin & Slevin PR Firm, out of Tallahassee, Fl, makes a presentation as well. Patrick Slevin assures the crowd that he lives in an affluent neighborhood just one mile from a dump and he never even knew it existed for the first year. After this meeting, a local citizen, found Mr. Slevin’s house in Tallahassee, Fl. It was in an affluent neighborhood but the dump was a very small enclosed area that was a transfer station, NO DUMP! Pictures of this were shown at a meeting CCSA held at Alabama Southern a few weeks later. Mr. Slevin quit working for Conecuh Woods shortly afterwards.
There was a large opposition at this Commission meeting so no landfill application was submitted by Conecuh Woods. About a week after this meeting, the Realtor, Les Prouty dies of a heart attach. He is approx. 80 years old.
Les Prouty was the person marketing this project so once he was gone, Mike Fordham took over. Mike Fordham is the local manager of Tenax Corporation and owner of the Black Angus Restaurant. Mr. Fordham indicates this is why he is pushing the dump. I phoned the Tenax president in Massachusetts who denied having any involvement what so ever with Conecuh Woods and put this on paper for me. See attached.
Early May 2007
– Conecuh Woods LLC rents a private jet from St. Petersburg, Fl to fly Commissioners Byrd, Millender, Barrow and Dean, County Attorney Richard Nix, Businessman Mike Fordham, Dr. Don Smith (who requested to attend) and Jimmy Stone (Donald W. Stone Jr) from the Evergreen airport to St. Petersburg, Fl to tour a waste to energy landfill. I believe it was the Bridgeway Acres Landfill. It is an impressive landfill because less than 15% of waste is buried due to recycling and waste to energy. However, the Conecuh Woods dump wants to receive 10,000 tons of garbage per day and bury ALL of it with NO waste to energy and NO recycling.
May – December 2010
– NO dump application is made due to continuous opposition from citizens and surrounding neighbors and the Commission says they are 3 NO votes. The principal of Conecuh Woods LLC, Jimmy Stone, comes in and out of town a few times a year. And, numerous FREE steak dinners are provided to individuals and organizations at the Black Angus Restaurant to push the dump.
September 25, 2008
– Donald W. Stone Jr, "Jimmy", creates two more LLC’s – JS Investments I and JS Investments II. He is the only listed member. The agent is James M. Smith, 10A Commerce Row, 529 South Perry St., Montgomery, Al 36104.
– Jimmy Stone returns to Evergreen. A large number of citizens attend the next regularly scheduled meeting to see if there is any activity on the dump due to his return. Commissioner Jerald Dean is visibly shaken by the attendance and asks me numerous times WHY everyone is here. Perhaps this is when he CHANGED his NO Vote to YES?
January 21, 2011
– Conecuh Woods LLC makes dump application and it is presented at the January 23rd regularly scheduled meeting.
January 23, 2011
– Conecuh Woods’s application presented at the meeting. It would seem Richard Nix already decided when the public hearing would be held and have a resolution adopting the acceptance of the application ready for the Commission to vote on. A citizen requested that the Public Hearing be held at a more convenient time for the public but it was refused by the Commission.
January – March 7, 2011
– The Conecuh County Commission refuses to allow numerous requests by citizens to address them about the pending dump application.
– The Town of Repton files suit to stop the application process. Judge Dawn Hare recuses herself due to her husband being Conecuh Woods LLC agent. Chief Justice Cobb appoints Judge Smithart.
March 8, 2011
– Court hearing held with Judge Smithart. Judge Smithart denies our request to stop the dump application.
March 10, 2011
– Public Hearing on the landfill is held at Reid State Technical College on a Thursday at 9am. The auditorium holds approx. 425 people. Approx. 800 people attended despite the time, day and the fact that we were NOT allowed to park on campus! Approx. 7 people spoke in favor of the dump. Dump supporters were Jimmy Stone, Al Agricola (Conecuh Woods’s attorney), Odessa Wallace, Larry Ryland, Leon Windham, Mike Fordham & Shannon Pugh. The rest were opposed and it lasted from 9am-5:30pm.
April 4, 2011
– Attorney, Jim Noles attends Conecuh County Commission meeting on behalf of the Town of Repton. He later asks the Commission to hold the meetings pertaining to the dump in a larger room since their chambers only holds 32 people. The Commission refuses.
April 11, 2011
– Conecuh County Commission held a workshop after the regularly scheduled meeting to hear from CCSA’s retained environmental engineer, Hal Wood with Southern Earth Science Inc and Conecuh Woods retained engineer’s with SCS. Only person asking questions was the Conecuh County attorney, Richard Nix.
April 18, 2011
Conecuh County Commission, at a special called meeting, voted 3-2 to APPROVE the largest dump in the US to be built in Conecuh County despite OVERWHELMING opposition (14 Municipalities in Alabama & Florida, 5 County Commissions in Alabama & Florida, One NATION - Creek Indians,
Coastal Gateway Economic Development Authority, Escambia County Soil &
Water Conservation, Fl all passed resolutions in opposition).
Monroe County Board of Realtors passed a motion in opposition.
April 20, 2011
The Town of Repton and Mayor Terri Carter filed suit against the Conecuh County Commission and Conecuh Woods. Since then Escambia Counties AL & FL, Orange Beach, Brewton, Flomaton, and Atmore have all filed Motions to Intervene and join Repton's suit. Century, Fl will be filing their Motion to Intervene soon. Citizens for a Clean Southwest Alabama have filed a separate suit and are now in Federal Court.
April 21, 2011
– Chipper Hare (Nicholas S. Hare Jr) is replaced as Conecuh Woods LLC agent with Algert Agricola. Chipper’s wife will start campaigning for re-election soon for the March 13, 2012 primary.
At a regular Conecuh County Commission meeting, ALL 5Commissioners voted YES to send a letter to Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission asking them to write a favorable Letter of Consistency so that the dump application could move on to ADEM. Therefore, even the 2 no votes on the dump were actually for it! See attached
State Legislation passed a 2 year moratorium on landfill permits of a certain size, tonnage, location etc. Conecuh County Commissioners Dean, Millender & Byrd along with Jimmy Stone (dump investor) and we think Paul Hamrick went to Montgomery that day to lobby against the bill. Then the Commissioners came home and turned in mileage for US to pay. ADEM has said they will not recognize the Governor's moratorium because they deem it illegal.
I was invited by the Director of ATRC, John Clyde Riggs, to attend an Executive Committee meeting concerning the Letter of Consistency. I was told NOT to bring anyone. I did bring one of our attorney's from Balch & Bingham. But, when we walked in the room it was filled with Dump Supporters which consisted of 3 Conecuh County Commissioners (Millender, Byrd and Dean), head of the NAACP-Jerome Boykin, DUMP Investors along with attorney's for them and the Conecuh County Commission and the dumps PR people (PR company is headed by PAUL HAMRICK – previous Chief of Staff to Governor Siegleman).
Conecuh County Commissioner Jerald Dean sits on the ATRC Exec. Committee and would appear to be the one pushing to put this issue on the table. ATRC's own attorney recommended that the ATRC DO NOTHING until litigation was over. However, 3 members did not attend, 1 abstained, 6 voted to move forward for review of the application, 2 voted no (Judge Norris from Monroe County and Comm. Aubrey Ellis from Sumter County). Please THANK Judge Norris & Comm. Aubrey Ellis for assessing the situation and voting in the best interest of the REGION.
At this meeting, Conecuh Woods (dump) attorney, Al Agricola stated that the entire 5,400 page Administrative Record concerning the Landfill Application was given to the ATRC in May. Balch & Bingham had been asking for this record, public record, since June but were denied for whatever reasons. Our 3rd letter requesting this record went out on July 15th. We also requested to ATRC that they give us 2 weeks to review the record once we receive it before ATRC wrote their Letter of Consistency.
One week after the ATRC Executive Committee Meeting, the ATRC Director wrote a letter to Balch & Bingham enclosing a copy of the Landfill Administrative Record BUT neglected to tell us that he wrote the Letter of Consistency on the SAME day. The Director, however, sent a letter to the dump & commission attorney's with a copy of the Letter of Consistency. The Letter of Consistency basically says that while there was NO need for another dump according to their own 2003 Solid Waste Needs Assessment, because this dump would exceed a life of 60 years, eventually there might be a need so they deemed it consistent and wrote a favorable letter. The Director said he had NOT reviewed the record as of July 13th. He must be an incredible speed reader to go through 5,400 pages and make a decision in one week!
, Balch & Bingham filed a second amended complaint to include ATRC in the lawsuit.
Meanwhile, the Conecuh County Commission & Conecuh Woods (dump) have both filed Motions to Dismiss and Motions to Stay Discovery stating that since the ATRC who represents 10 counties and the Conecuh County Commission is onboard with the dump, there really is NO opposition like Repton is claiming. We now have a court date for these motions on September 21, 2011 at the Conecuh County Courthouse and Judge Smithart from Bullock County will hear the case. Our Circuit Judge Dawn Hare recused herself .
Conecuh Woods’s attorney/agent in the beginning. We look forward to Judge Smithart ruling according to the law in our favor NOT to dismiss so that we can move on to depositions.
The hearing was held in the Conecuh County Courthouse at 1pm. Our attorney’s Greg Albritton (the town’s daily attorney) and Joe McCorkle & Charlie Paterson from Balch & Bingham did great! As did the attorney from Orange Beach (Wanda Cochran) who basically said that counties and municipalities have a responsibility to protect the corporation but also the well being and public safety of its citizens and that if this case were not allowed to move forward it would be an insult to democracy! The attorney’s from Escambia County, Al, Brewton, Flomaton & Atmore (Ed Hines) and Escambia County, Fl & Century, Fl (Chuck Pepplar) did great as well.
October 25, 2011
– Judge Smithart files his ruling denying Conecuh Woods, Conecuh County Commission and ATRC’s Motion to Dismiss and compels them to move forward with discovery and depositions.
November 22, 2011
– Defendants file an appeal of Writ a Mandamus to the Alabama Supreme Court.
December 15, 2011
– Alabama Supreme Court files their ruling denying the Writ a Mandamus and vacating defendants Stay of Discovery. The case reverts back to Judge Smithart.
February 9, 2012
– Donald W. "Jimmy" Stone Jr decides he will not go into his deposition scheduled for February 15th without a subpoena. Depositions were scheduled to begin on February 13th with Commissioner Wendell Byrd first. The Commission follows Mr. Stone’s lead. Depositions are now tentatively scheduled for June 5th – 8th and the 25th.
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Mayor of Repton
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