By Michael V. Hannigan
The News Staff
ATHENS — A Commissioners’ Court agenda item that didn’t pass Tuesday morning instead shed a different light on a long-running controversy in Malakoff.
Three years ago, a debate started over a large pile of construction rubble located on land owned by the county in Precinct 1 between The Lindy Mall and Spring Creek Mobile Home Park in Malakoff.
The owners of the Lindy Mall, through attorney Brian Schmidt, call the pile an eyesore and “a danger to the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Henderson County.”
Pct. 1 Commissioner Joe Hall, for his part, said the precinct yard. But in 2011, he said budget constraints wouldn’t allow the move to be made quickly, saying it would cost nearly $20,000 in fuel and manpower.
So the controversy has simmered on low, but never gone away.
Now, during a discussion of a request to use some of the material for a private subdivision in Precinct 1, County Attorney Clint Davis says the construction rubble is salvage and has no value.
He told commissioners Tuesday, “I think if you put it up for bid, there would be no bids.”
The comments came in relation to a request by Tom’s Acres, a private subdivision in Precinct 1, to use some of the material because a road was washed out during the recent rains. Hall — who was attending a funeral Tuesday and was not at the meeting — was willing to provide the material, but needed approval from Commissioners’ Court.
The action was not approved because commissioners Ronnie Lawrence and Ken Geeslin did not want to start a precedent of working on private roads.
Davis, however, said the court could have allowed the action because the material has no value and giving it away “would alleviate some cost to the county.”
“I agree with the County Attorney’s position and have always felt that this rubble that private contractors routinely have to pay waste disposal sites to take has no monetary value and should have never have been dumped on county property,” Schmidt said Wednesday.