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Mountain Home City Council was officially sworn in last Thursday during a brief ceremony by newly elected District Judge Jodi Carney.
Following the ceremony, the council voted to establish the government rules by which they will abide for the year. Council Members also revealed which committees they will be joining for the year.
Mountain Home Mayor Hillrey Adam also took the opportunity to announce that Russell Tucker, one of the co-owners of Rapp’s Barren Brewery and Gastropub, will be joining the city’s Advertising & Promotion Committee.
Tucker has spent the last year promoting Mountain Home alongside government officials and has brought the likes of Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her former opponent Democrat Chris Jones to the city to mingle with local residents. Rapp’s Barren has also played host to several government events this year, including hosting a debate between all opponents for Baxter County Judge and a meet and greet between local community members and representatives from the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism.
Rapp’s Barren was listed as Arkansas’s No.1 brewery last year by Tripadvisor. The company has also devoted itself to raising money for local organizations and events in town.
Tucker is considered to be one of Mountain Home’s rising stars in Mountain Home’s business industry.
Mountain Home City Council officially passed a resolution against the potential reopening of the NABORS landfill during its meeting Thursday night.
Mountain Home Mayor Hillrey Adams, who currently sits on the board of the Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District, has spoken out publicly against the sale on the controversial landfill, despite the last minute push of the district’s board to sell the property to Illinois-based company, LRS.
The sale, which was supposed to be completed by the end of last year, remains in limbo despite former Bull Shoals Mayor David Nixon already signing the agreement as the chairman for the board. ADEQ has stated that LRS is still in the process of conducting its due diligence in the sale and could offer no further comment.
The communications team from ADEQ has stated that comments from the public on potential reopening of the landfill would be considered before any permit changes are authorized.
The resolution states:
WHEREAS, it is the understanding of the City of Mountain Home that LRS, an independent waste diversion, recycling and portable service provider, is in the process of acquiring the landfill commonly known as NABORS Landfill;
WHEREAS, upon acquisition of the NABORS Landfill, LRS would be in a position to apply for permits from the State of Arkansas to open new landfill cells; and
WHEREAS, the existing landfill is unsuitable and was previously closed and capped. The reopening of the landfill would be detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Mountain Home and to the natural resources of North Central Arkansas.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MOUNTAIN HOME, ARKANSAS.
1: That the City of Mountain Home opposes the sale, permitting and/or the reopening of the NABOR’s Landfill. Such action would be detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the City of Mountain Home, Arkansas and to the natural resources of North Central Arkansas.
The resolution would see the city joining the Baxter County Quorum Court, which passed its own resolution opposing the sale of NABORS landfill during its session last Tuesday evening.
It should be noted that while resolutions show solidarity with the public in opposing the sale of the landfill, they will ultimately do little to stop the sale from going through if LRS decides to sign the dotted line with the Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District.
The ability for the public to organize and speak out against the planned sale has been hampered by a general silence on the part of some elected officials inside Baxter County that knew of the deal several weeks to months in advance.
Ultimately, the sale could easily go through, but that does not mean the landfill will be reopened. While the public may view the reopening as a personal or moral matter, the case for reopening the landfill will be a legal one.
NABORS landfill has a long and sordid history in Arkansas courts that resulted in it shutting down for good. If LRS purchases the property and applies for permits to re-open the site, it will most likely face an uphill battle in the form of multiple lawsuits attempting to keep the landfill shuttered.
Until the sale is either declined or finalized, the public will be able to do little more than speak out against the sale.
Other Council news
The city performed the second reading of its previously discussed noise ordinance. The new noise ordinance, which was created in response to complaints from residents about late night construction from local companies in town, is designed to let local business and residents know what exactly the rules are in regard to noise during nighttime hours.
While details of the ordinance, such as noise from emergency generators are still being worked out, both Adams and Mountain Home Police Chief Eddie Griffin said the ordinance would be applied with discretion from police officers.
Some members of the public stressed that officer discretion was not a safe bet against the ordinance being applied to noise levels on their own properties.
In other news, City Council also made modifications to their contract with Garver, who will be overseeing construction of work being done to the city’s sewer system. The sewer system is set to be expanded in some areas to prepare for future development. Workers from the Mountain Home Sewer Department will be responsible for completing the work.