SANTA ROSA COUNTY, Fla. (WALA) - Santa Rosa County Commissioners denied a permit for the construction of a C & D Landfill in Milton.
The decision came during a meeting on February 14, after overwhelmingly negative feedback from residents who attended several recent meetings regarding the issue.
Wallis Mahute has lived in her Milton home on Cox Street since 1999. She and others have been lobbying against Santa Rosa County renewing a permit that would bring a landfill to the area.
"The message we got today was that it's best to protect the water and the safety of the citizens. I'm really, really glad about that message," said Mahute.
The landfill has been a hot button issue since Blue Water Holdings purchased the land from a private owner. The company purchased a permit to build a landfill around five years ago.
Residents said despite new laws requiring protective lining, the landfill would be dangerously close to several bodies of water, including the Blackwater River and East Milton Water wells.
The land, situated in the woods near Jeff Ates road was purchased privately by Blue Water Holdings.
Commissioner Bob Cole said the permit was overwhelmingly voted against, but he said it's now up to Blue Water Holdings, who could take it to court.
He said options include the county purchasing the property by adding a dollar to each water bill or using the area for preservation.
"It would certainly be a better use than having a C & D Landfill sitting on our watershed which we rely on for our drinking water," Cole said.
Cole said if the landfill goes through it could grow and expand even further, due to the available land around the property and the availability of a railroad.
"A fear is that Blue Water Holdings starts this and a large company buys them out and makes it grow. At that point it's like a cancer and we've lost all control of it," said Cole.
Mahute said she fills that the county denying the permit is a victory for the area.
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