Waco delays vote on controversial new landfill on Old Lorena Road

Jasmin Caldwell

On Tuesday, Waco City Council decided to delay the vote on building a new Waco landfill at the controversial Old Lorena Road site near the old one.

Waco Mayor Kyle Deaver said the delay was not an easy decision but after seeing those in opposition show up in large numbers, the council agreed it needed more time.

The issue of a new landfill being placed in her neighborhood, brought a mother named Amanda Lindsay to tears.

"I'm asking you all to please look at me and my daughter, and know in your heart that the decision you make is not going to cost her, her future," Lindsay said.

Rebecca Blankenstein and her family were forced to watch on a monitor in the lobby because the venue was so crowded that Waco's fire chief had to stop letting people in due to being over capacity. Blankenstein wondered why a larger space was not selected.

"Right now, I’m representing no one standing out here without a place to sit,” Blankenstein explained. “It is pretty sad that we see our city do this to us."

More than a dozen people spoke during the public hearing, and their strong opinions prompted the city council to make the decision to delay the vote.

"Well I thought my mind was made up,” City Councilman Noah Jackson Jr. said. “But I need a little more time to think this through."

The Citizens Against Highway 84 Landfill group's Chair Brad Holland said Tuesday night's delay was a small victory.

"We feel like tonight at least the city council listened, really for the first time, for the concerns people have and realize this is a very big decision," Holland said. "They just don't have enough information yet to go ahead with this location."

There was no word on when city council would make its final decision. Deaver said was not sure if they will be ready at their next meeting which is Nov. 21.

Opponents of the landfill expansion have previous made a variety of arguments in protest -- including that the landfill would attract birds and threaten airplanes or that it could jeopardize the drinking water supply.

For its part, the City of Waco has said the current landfill only has roughly seven years of life left before a change needs to be made. So, city council members are trying to do something sooner -- rather than later.

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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