Bizarre Moments Follow Tie Vote on Transfer Station

After spending a month discussing and debating the issue, when it came time to vote, the Union County Fiscal Court deadlocks in a 3-3 tie on a controversial trash transfer station proposal. Proposed by the owner of Tri-County Waste, the transfer station would serve as a collection point for the county’s trash, which would then be shipped to a landfill in a neighboring county.

Gus Kanipe, the owner of Tri-County Waste, proposed that the transfer station be located on McFall Road near US 60, south of Moganfield. The transfer station was made necessary due to the closure of the county landfill in December 2015, Kanipe said. Such a facility would also help reduce customers rates, which have recently doubled.
However, many neighbors living on or near the proposed site have concerns about truck traffic on the narrow stretch of McFall Road. The proposed entrance to the facility would be on McFall Road instead of US 60 because state transportation officials raised issues with sight-lines near a blind curve on US 60.
Because the county does not have county-wide zoning ordinances, the Fiscal Court was tasked with approving the site selection. Magistrates Chuck Voss, Joe Clements and Joe Wells expressed concern with the proposed site during Tuesday’s meeting.

“I wouldn’t want excess traffic to keep from enjoying these freedoms in front of their homes,” Wells said. “I also don’t want to hinder the freedom of the children on McFall Road from having the same freedoms that my grandchildren have.” “

“Safety issues [are] my main concern,” Voss said. “I haven’t had a single phone call in favor of it.”

Magistrate Gary Day lamented at how difficult his decision would be because of how divisive it has proven to be.

“This is a strong, hard decision for all of us to make. We realize that,” Day said.

Day and Jerri Floyd voted yes on the measure while Voss, Wells and Clements voted no. With the vote 3-2 against the proposal, Judge Executive Jody Jenkins, who is not required to vote, had the final decision to make.

He said yes, deadlocking the vote to a 3-3 tie. After brief discussion and questions on what the Fiscal Court should do next, the body opted to confer with the County Attorney who would research the dilemma.

No additional votes were taken. It’s unclear if the process would have to start all over again or if the court could simply vote again.

We’ll keep you updated.

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