This blog post was shared anonymously on January 25th with two errors which are corrected in this post. Correction #1 – Cumberland County’s lawyer is Vivian Giles; County Waste’s lawyer is LeClair Ryan. Correction #2 – the company originally referenced was Casella, the company information now listed is County Waste (article included to read).
72 Addresses. 72 Homes. 72 Families…
One family, with relatives living in various homes around the proposed dump site, has lived in this area for generations dating back to slave days.
One family moved here into their “forever home” to raise their young family in a rural setting.
One family, moved here over two decades ago, restored a home, and it is their only retirement plan.
Another family grew up here and still tends the land given to him from his great-grandfather.
These families and many others received a “Property Protection” contract from LeClair Ryan, County Waste’s attorney, last year after the Cumberland County Board of Supervisors signed a Host Agreement with County Waste / Green Ridge Recycling and Disposal Facility (aka dump) who is proposing a 1200 Mega-Multi State Dump be placed in Cumberland County. Last week, these families received a letter from the same lawyer inviting them to a meeting that will be held on February 6th to “learn more about the property protection plan”.
Cumberland County has a lawyer – Vivian Giles. County Waste has a lawyer – LeClair Ryan. The residents who receive this plan? No lawyer. Unless they pay out of their own pocket for representation.
Imagine…you invest your time, energy, money and plant your future’s hopes, dreams, and investments into your home for yourself, your family, your children, grandchildren, etc. You’ve either lived in your home since you were a child or you just moved in your home full of excitement or you just finished building your home looking forward to the quiet years to come…and you receive an unsolicited “deal” on your home and land from a multi-billion dollar corporate trash company’s lawyer to have the right to buy your home, fair market price, because the local government decided (3 to 2 vote) to allow a 1200 acre mega-dump be placed on the property next door.
County Waste is not legally required to offer the property protection plan and, therefore, there is not any legal aspect to your position. Short version, County Waste offered the plan as a “pot sweetener” to soften the opposition, a chance to sell out at market value, to hush people from voicing any opposition at all, hushing the people with the loudest impact from complaining about them to DEQ during any process. They are the corporate bully that has forced you, with permission from three Cumberland County Board of Supervisors, in a position of damned if you do and damned if you don’t. And they are the ones who win, by your silence.
You have no choice. You have no leverage. You have no say – at all – about the situation. And the “best offer” you’re given includes keeping your mouth shut.
The Cumberland County Board of Supervisors, the men placed in position by vote, were the one who allowed this corporate bully in the county. The final vote? 3 to 2. A board member, said in response to citizen’s outcry against the proposed mega-dump during a Board Meeting last year, “Some must suffer for the greater good”. The good is so great, that the board member is looking to leave the county.
Take a minute and let that sink in… You, must suffer for the greater good of a county that mismanaged money for years and for the greater good of a trash company that had an “annual revenue of about $120 million” in 2011 according to this article: https://www.timesunion.com/business/article/New-owners-for-County-Waste-1321677.php.
Personally being in this situation, one cannot adequately explain the heart breaking, gut wrenching, devastating emotions around this situation and the “contract”. Sleepless nights, sickness, high blood pressure, tearful outbreaks, desperation, and the sense of anger, injustice, helplessness, and hopelessness is overwhelming. Our home, our life, our well-being has been invaded by a heartless greedy company, allowed by people in position who are supposed to be representing the people.
As one resident said in a meeting, “we were sold out”! We were indeed and for 1.2 to 2 million, 35 jobs, and $25,000. For a landfill that is not needed by the state of Virginia and is only wanted by County Waste so they do not have to pay other corporate trash companies for use of their landfills which are already existing and have capacity available. This mega dump will be taking money from other counties, other companies, and forever damaging not only approximately 288 people but the State forever. The damage will be irrecoverable.
Shared with permission