RUTHERFORD COUNTY, TN – WGNS has an update on the disposal of storm debris in Rutherford County and why the county mayor was surprised to receive a bill for the waste being disposed of at Middle Point Landfill.
On March 31st and April 1st, a storm system moved through multiple communities across the south, producing an EF-2 tornado. Such tornadoes are known to produce wind speeds of up to 135-miles-per-hour. In this case, those winds and a tornado swept through Rutherford and Cannon Counties, with the Readyville community suffering the most extensive damage.
As darkness turned to light on Saturday morning, April 1st, clean-up crews began the grueling process of clearing the rubble left behind by the storms. Remnants of homes, power lines and personal possessions littered area streets, fields and lawns.
During clean-up efforts, a huge percentage of the ruins were transported to the Middle Point Landfill in Rutherford County. About 3-months later, Rutherford County was hit with a $100-thousand bill to cover the cost of the rubbish being disposed of at the landfill.
Rutherford County Mayor Joe Carr told WGNS the bill took him by surprise because Mike Classen, General Manager of the landfill, had previously said… Classen made the promise to the full county commission during an April 13th commission meeting.
After Carr received the bill for the county disposing of the waste, he said… Subsequent to the story airing on WGNS, an official with the landfill contacted the station to clear the air, stating they are still willing to absorb the cost of the disposal.
On Thursday afternoon, Classen sent an email to Rutherford County Public Works Committee members that referenced the WGNS article. The email to Public Works stated, "To be clear, the information and insinuations made in this story are untrue. We have never wavered from the offer we made in April to absorb the cost of disposal for disaster debris collected by Rutherford County for any amount in excess of that which FEMA will not cover."
Classen went on to tell committee members the invoice they sent to the county must first be submitted to FEMA. He then wrote, "If FEMA declines to reimburse any amount, we will absorb the entire cost." That Thursday email cemented Republic’s stance to cover the cost of storm debris disposal, should FEMA funds not get approved.
Again, the original statement made by Classen during an April 13th County Commission meeting… Still stands today, according to the email sent by Classen to Public Works Committee members on Thursday afternoon (07/27/23).
See the previous news story on this topic HERE.