Stefanie Cope

Staff Writer

A heated discussion over what the Cherokee County Commissioners were aware of in the possible reopening of a landfill in Cherokee County set the tone for Monday’s commission meeting.

The landfill on Wyandotte Road discussed at last week’s commission meeting has apparently been seeing a lot of activity, residents from the area told the commissioners.

Sue Drennan told commissioners the residents in the area still have not heard anything from Beachner about the possibility of the landfill opening and said she has seen an increase in traffic to and from the area.

Drennan also told commissioners about families with young children in the area as well as some older residents with medical problems who could possibly be affected by dust and chemicals from the debris being dumped.

Drennan said she had spoken with Bureau of Waste Management Director Bill Bider who had told her the permit bought from Jack Brumback, the original owner of the landfill, is only for the original 4.6 acres of which half is already filled. This leaves roughly two acres left for dumping currently. Lori Johnson of B3 Construction told commissioners according to statutes and regulations any dumping beyond what is left of the 4.6 acres would be a violation and the commissioners would then have to step in.

Cherokee County Commissioner Pat Collins was also questioned on his involvement with Beachner and whether or not he negotiated for a $.50 tipping fee. Collins said he had not negotiated the fee, but that Beachner had offered the fee.

Residnets of the area also questioned Collins about the extension and expansion of the driveway leading up to the landfill.

“That had nothing to do with the landfill.” Collins said. Collins also said the driveway was part of the roadway and ditch system. He said he does that exact repair for driveways all over the county.

Drennan also asked commissioners if, when the time came, they would vote to let the landfill expand and take in more debris. Each commissioner told Drennan no and said they had no plans on allowing the landfill to expand.

Drennan said she and the others plan to continue attending the meetings to make sure their opinions are heard when it comes to the landfill reopening.

Also discussed at the meeting were problems with a fence line and cattle getting loose.

Randy Monson told commissioners cattle have been getting out of neighboring land and ending up in his corn fields for about five years. He said the corn is getting trampled and eaten by the cattle. Monson said when he went to check the fence where the cattle have been getting loose the only repairs that have been made were made with baling wire and concrete wire. He said the repairs are not lasting and the cattle are continuing to get out.

Monson told commissioners that he would like to have some kind of compensation for lost crops and damage. He told commissioners that he believed that Todd Hale owned the cattle and Jim Hale owned the land.

Jim Hale told commissioners that the cattle were in fact not Todd’s cattle. Hale said the cattle belonged to someone else, but did not want to disclose who owned the cattle to the commissioners.

Hale said he would be willing to put in a new fence as long as he did not have to pay for it all on his own.

Commissioners told Monson they would speak with the county attorney and get his opinions on what action could be taken. The commissioners also told Monson to continue to document all of the damage as long as it continues.

Additionally the commissioners appointed the Cherokee County Clerk’s office the office to provide help to citizens at no cost who need to obtain a birth certificate or other identifying items to vote in upcoming elections.

Cherokee County Clerk Crystal Gatewood went over new requirements which would be put in place starting January 1, 2012 for voting regulations. The biggest change to the regulations will be that every individual voting in the state of Kansas must show some type of photographic identification.

The next regularly scheduled meeting will be at 9 a.m. July 11.