NCL Waste announces plans to oppose R’land’s annexation

By NIKKI ROWELL,

NCL Waste has hired an attorney and announced opposition to Ridgeland’s plans for annexation.

The city of Ridgeland has filed a petition to annex a 4.9-square-mile section of land near West County Line Road, which Mayor Gene McGee says has been part of the city’s master plan for growth since 2008.

A piece of the proposed area for annexation also happens to be the site of NCL Waste’s proposed landfill.

NCL’s opposition to annexation was first made known when attorney’s Johnny Brunini and Michael Gwin attended last week’s Madison County board of supervisors meeting.

“NCL intends to oppose annexation and oppose it vigorously,” Brunini said. “There are others who are interested and willing to oppose that annexation as well. That’s a long process.”

Gwin sent out the following statement on behalf of NCL: “NCL is opposed to annexation that will cost Ridgeland taxpayers tens of millions of dollars to build the necessary infrastructure and provide the full range of city services required for this 3,300 acres of largely undeveloped land. This tax increase on current Ridgeland citizens is frivolous and unnecessary since there is very little existing—or expected—residential or commercial development in the proposed annexation area.”

There are approximately 122 homes located within the more than 3,000 acres the city is looking to annex.

Now that the case rests in the hands of a Madison County Chancery Court judge, the next step will be for the judge to set a trial date.

The last time the city took in additional property was in September 2016, when the city’s petition was officially approved for property located south of Lake Castle Road and east of Livingston Road.

The city has annexed additional property 11 times since the city’s inception as the Village of Ridgeland, which later became the town of Ridgeland in 1947 and the city of Ridgeland in 1975.

McGee said the length of the annexation process has varied over the years, and that there is no way to know exactly how long it

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will take to complete this time. However, the fact that there is opposition will be a major factor.

If the city is successful in its effort to annex the area, he said they would work with developers to determine the “highest and best” use for the property.

NCL Waste is seeking permits from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to build a landfill on a 166-acre property located at 2858 North County Line Road, with approximately 89 acres projected to be designated for disposal area.

According to Robbie Wilbur with MDEQ, MDEQ staff are currently reviewing the comments submitted during the public comment period and preparing responses that will be provided to the MDEQ permit board, along with a transcript of the public hearing.

The permit board is the entity responsible for issuing the permits that NCL is seeking, and it meets the second Tuesday of each month. As of press time, the NCL landfill case has not been set to be heard by the board.

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