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SAXAPAHAW DISPUTE\ RESIDENTS CONSIDERING LAWSUIT OVER LANDFILL

SAXAPAHAW DISPUTE\ RESIDENTS CONSIDERING LAWSUIT OVER LANDFILL

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Some residents of this quiet southeast Alamance County community say they'll go to court to try to keep the county's trash out of their back yard.

Rick Rosen, a leader of Citizens for Safe Siting of Landfills, said not enough study has been done on the landfill's potential effect on the nearby Haw River. The group has hired a Raleigh attorney to explore the possibility of filing suit.``The game is only at halftime as far as we're concerned,' Rosen said. ``The commissioners are trying to lead the taxpayers to believe that the landfill issue has been decided, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions.

``This is no longer a back-yard issue; it's a back-pocket issue.'

County commissioners last week took two more steps toward developing a new landfill off Austin Quarter Road in Saxapahaw. They hired a Raleigh consulting firm to design the landfill and they condemned the proposed 427-acre site for the dump.

The new landfill - to open in September 1993 - will replace one near Swepsonville, which will be full sometime next year.

Talk of a possible lawsuit doesn't worry landfill supporters.

``We know what we're doing and I think that's just huffing and puffing basically,' Commissioner Joe Barbour said. ``There's really no controversy except for people who live close to the landfill, and you'll run into that wherever you decide to locate it.'

W.B. ``Junior' Teague, chairman of the board of commissioners, said county residents are ``just glad to get this issue behind us.' He points to resolutions of support for the Saxapahaw site from leaders of every city and town in the county.

Commissioner Cary Allred, who cast the only vote against the new site, said the county should explore other methods such as incineration and privatization.

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