Washington Co. Landfill Debate

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Brenham and Washington County officials are looking into a proposed regional landfill once again. Both entities want more information before they make a decision, but many residents think the idea stinks.

"I'm totally against it. The smell would come right over to my subdivision all the time. That's the worse case scenario," said Lanny Strong, a Washington County resident.

Strong lives in Wildflower Estates near the proposed landfill site just off Highway 290. It's been owned by the city of Brenham since 1985 with intentions or turning it into a landfill.

Strong isn't alone in his opposition. Many other residents don't like the idea either. That's the main reason the project has never been started.

Now 20 years later, Brenham's city council is considering selling the property. Brenham city manager Terry Roberts says the council is considering whether to sell the land with or without a landfill permit.

"Some of the council wanted to sell it without the permit and turn it back into pasture land or available for residential development. Others said before we do that lets find out the value of that piece of property with its permit," said Roberts.

"Our property values would plummet if that happened. Plus there would be an insect problem with the flies and all that. We might not even be able to sell our house if we wanted to. I'm totally against it," said Strong.

The city has hired a consultant to determine the property's value as a landfill and make recommendations. The county currently trucks garbage to Austin, which costs more than $300,000 a year. Officials say it may be cheaper to continue that arrangement, rather than operate a landfill of their own.

The city is expected to make a decision at the end of this year or the beginning of next year.