Controversial Billboard Put Up to Catch Attention of Local Leaders

By: Rashi Vats Email
By: Rashi Vats Email

A Hempstead resident created a huge billboard to try and get the attention of local leaders to stop a landfill from being built in their backyard.

That landfill is proposed for land along Highway 6, about 45 miles south of College Station.

A storm is brewing in Waller County, and we aren't talking about the weather.

"We have beautiful landscaping in Waller County, I just want everyone to know that we are trying to save our beautification,” said Milton Machac, a Waller County resident opposed to the proposed landfill near Highway 6 near 290.

He spent time and $800 to design and put up a billboard along Highway 290 near Hempstead.

It reads ‘Judge Beckendorff Dump.’ Glenn Beckendorff is the Waller County judge. The sign also says 'Save Our Beautification' and 'This Stinks.'

Underneath the sign are trash bags that Mahac collected.

"If I see a garbage bag on the side of the road, I stop and pick it up. That's how these have been accumulated. It is Texas garbage but we are accumulated it here temporarily to be disposed of not in Waller County,” said Mahac. "I am trying to get the attention of the county judge, so he can at least look into it."

When we reached out to Judge Beckendorff, he responded saying he had no comment.

Back in February we heard from him when he said he would sign an agreement with the landfill company after voting to drop opposition.

"Since there's already been a draft permit issued, we feel like that's the best way we have of protecting the county in the future,” said Beckendorff.

Bill Huntsinger is the president of a group called “Citizens Against the Landfill in Hempstead", but they didn't have anything to do with the billboard.

"It was a surprise. We weren't aware of it. Some people were shocked, some people were offended, but quite honestly it reflects the sentiments of many of the people in the county,” said Huntsinger. "We are not giving up, we are staying with it."

Machac says he doesn't plan to put any more billboards up.

The City of Hempstead and members of the group "Citizens Against the Landfill in Hempstead" have filed a lawsuit against Waller County.

The permit for a landfill has not yet been approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

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