It has been a long time coming for some residents in Millville. But, the cleanup of a former waste transfer station is almost complete. Details in this News 13 Problem Solver follow up.
The Coyote Waste Transfer site was closed by state officials in September 2011. It presented a huge eyesore for Millville residents on Ninth Street and Sherman Avenue with piles of garbage and the owner of the site facing code violations… not moving to clean up the property. But then, earlier this summer, a solution.
It was suggested that Phoenix Construction, facing fines related to its work at Beaches International Airport, work off those fines with the Coyote site cleanup.
According to Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki the Department of Environmental Protection was, "Receptive to the possibility of that happening." The mayor says the idea was presented that Phoenix perform cleanup in Millville to resolve its fine issues. The mayor says, "It took a while, but they bought in to the idea."
The mayor says the city was responsible for its part of dumping the waste. He tells News 13, "We agreed to half. County would eat half...paid half of the tipping… The city paid county 50-thousand dollars for the tipping fee. Which is a hundred above the 575-thousand fine. So the work got done for the fine."
For residents who live across the street, directly affected for years by the bad odor at times, mosquitoes and more, the cleanup is a major relief. Millville resident Gregory Hill says, "Cause the rodents seem like they are going away...the cockroaches are disappearing. It is a great cleanup job they done over there and the community glad it has gotten done." Resident Tony Major says, "I feel a lot better about it. It looks a lot better and smells a lot better."
The eyesore is not more after a successful effort. Mayor Brudnicki says, "Took a little out of the box thinking. But, it also took creative people from DEP, the county and Panama City. It was a collaboration of efforts between everybody."
The target date for completion was September. But the rainy weather pushed beyond that deadline. Word from the Florida DEP is that the entire operation should be over by Monday, October 7.
Residents told us they are still concerned over some drainage issues along the cleanup site. I spoke with the mayor late this afternoon about those issues and he says he will get with the Public Works Department on that. Hopefully, everything can be resolved soon.