Ocala residents opposed to proposed waste station



OCALA, Fla. - On Tuesday, some 70 Ocala residents confronted city officials about a proposed plan to build a new waste-holding facility in the city.

The facility would be built on the corner of NW 21st Street and NW 27th Avenue. But in order for it to be built, the city would have to pass a new ordinance because the current zoning doesn't allow for landfills or garbage facilities.

Another nearby landfill was grandfathered in, and residents said they don’t need any more garbage in the city.

"It stinks over here," said resident Donald Nelson. "It degrades our property."

Nelson said the city is dumping on the neighborhood he and his wife have lived in for decades. He said the existing landfill continues to grow.

"It is not supposed to be there," said Nelson. "It was grandfathered in."

The existing landfill is privately owned and operated, but the city planning director said current zoning no longer permits for sandy landfills.

The city code pertaining to landfills was changed in the '90s and now there's talk of introducing a new and different code. If approved, a waste-transfer station will go in less than a mile away from the landfill.

Frustrated citizens showed up at a city meeting on Tuesdaythat was attended by Planning Director Tye Chighizola.

When asked how the city reacts to pressure from residents, Chighizola said, "That's the input we are looking for in terms of when it goes to City Council. That information is valuable in making a decision."

But Nelson and his neighbors said they won't get dumped on again without a fight.

"It's adding more stench to what we already got," he said.