The Decatur County Board of Zoning Appeals met on Wednesday.
Mark Fixmer of BEX Farms requested a special exception in an I-2 zoning classification to operate a landfill of approximately 48.4 acres more or less. Nothing had changed in the plans since the last meeting. A member of the board asked what the original size request was for the landfill when it started at the APC. Originally it was 156 acres but was later lowered to 48 acres at the request of APC. The floor was then opened to the public. Bill Obermeyer asked why BEX was still not held accountable. The odor is still prevalent and no one can explain what a tipping fee is or how many loads are coming in. Sean Green believes they devalue the land and safety of the area. The traffic and smell are also horrendous in his opinion. Green asked why the storage units were denied in the previous APC Meeting for the same reasons everyone had been saying for the landfill and why they had to keep coming back to argue their point. Green requested that they deny the application. Jean Johannigman brought up PFAS, warning about its dangers to the board. She has also contacted a lady at Purdue who will be doing sampling in the area around March when they have time. This means they will finally have proof on whether or not it is present in the area. Kurt Publo spoke representing BEX Farms. Publo says that while PFAS can cause issues with large exposures, they cannot find exact links to where those exposures are. He also stated that 75% of the trash is from outside of Decatur County and none is from outside of the state. There have also been additional cover procedures have been added for smell control and their gas collection system has been fixed to help with the odor. Board member Joyce Brindley said that the water should be good and safe. People can deal with an odor, but water is a basic need and that people deserve to have a clean supply. This was tabled.
The board had asked that any questions regarding the landfill be sent to Krista Duvall to be put up for public viewing before the next meeting. Kristas information can be found on the Decatur County website.
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Based on a conversation on Thursday, reports are that BEX Farms estimates the remaining life of the current landfill to be 10 to 12 years. Bill Obermeyer told WTRE news that a 2014 Indiana Department of Environmental Management report stated 38 years for the landfill thus in 2021 it would have 31 years left.