Levy County objects to sludge dumping

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By Jeff M. Hardison

BRONSON - After hearing from a man who will live next door to a proposed 1,440-acre sludge farm at the Levy-Alachua County line, the Levy County Commission agreed Nov. 6 to let Alachua County commissioners know of its displeasure.

Victor Pisarri said his elderly neighbor can no longer farm and Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) offered him $11.5 million to dump "grade B" sludge on the farm. The towns of Sanford and Tallahassee are changing to a procedure where they will dump only the more processed "grade A" sludge, or "bio-solids," Pisarri said. Meanwhile, it looks like GRU is regressing.

County Commissioner Tony Parker jumped to the forefront in this scenario. He said there are more Levy County residents in that area than Alachua County residents, and he is concerned. He volunteered to be the commissioner to speak on behalf of Levy County on the issue.

Levy County has no authority to tell Alachua County where it can dump its sludge, Commission Chairman Sammy Yearty said. Nonetheless, the commission agreed to instruct County Planner Shenley Neely to confer with County Attorney Anne Brown to send a "stern letter" expressing the county's concern.

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