By Ben Lawson
After years of hunting for a new recycling and convenience center in Seymour, the county is moving ahead with establishing a new location adjacent to the current center on Boyd’s Creek. Nevertheless, options for a different site are still being reviewed.
County commissioner and Operations Committee chairman Bill Oakes amended the original decision to purchase land on Bell Chapel Lane at the last commission meeting. With the county’s contract with Floyd’s Market ending on September 15, this will leave residents without a convenience center in Seymour.
“There’s a few people upset they’ll have to drive a little further,” Oakes said. “But the Bell’s Chapel people are happy it’s not going there.”
Because the Boyd’s Creek location lies on property owned by the Sevier County Board of Education, their approval was needed to purchase the adjacent land. Oakes indicated that the school board deal would be closing Monday with the land purchased using the county’s “rainy day” funds until the school board could pay their half later in the year.
Oakes said the goal was to have the new site up and running by the 15th, weather permitting. In the meantime, the current center would be boosted to full capacity thanks to the new compactors. Oakes feels this was the only choice presently available given the arguments against choosing a residential area.
“We’ve got subdivisions everywhere,” he said. “We’re the most populated area in the county.”
The county still hopes to ferret out a new location. Oakes indicated that a couple of new sites had been made available since the last committee meeting and are being looked into. As with all the previous options, a balance must be struck between convenience, money and environmental impact.
Sevier County mayor Larry Waters also stressed that the commissioners and his own staff will keep searching until a suitable location is found. He said that overcoming the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s restrictions on certain sites had caused unavoidable delays but did not immediately rule out any piece of land.
“I think the committee looked at every site they could find,” Waters said.
In addition to the Boyd’s Creek center, the convenience site at White’s School is also being expanded. Oakes hopes residents will be satisfied while the hunt resumes.
“We’re asking people to please be patient,” he said. “It’s a challenge, but one we’ll overcome.”
Oakes Confident Site will be Found
By Ben Lawson