ANDERSON — When Frank O’Neal bought his property next to the proposed Mallard Lake Landfill more than a decade ago, he was told the fight to keep the site from accepting solid waste was over.
Today, he watches with misgivings as excavators, bulldozers and other heavy equipment push dirt on the property.
“It’s a sad deal,” O’Neal said. “A lot of people have been wanting to do something with our property, but we don’t want to do anything because if it is a dump, you are going to lose your money.”
According to county records, in September, Bex Farms, Inc., purchased the 254-acre property for $1.125 million. The landfill permit for the property is in the process of being transferred to 600 Land, Inc. Both companies share the same address, 5300 Miller Road, Kalamazoo, Mich.
In 1979, a proposal first came up to convert the acreage into a landfill on property owned then by J.M. Corp. and Ralph Reed and Sons, Inc. Legal battles ensued, but the permit was approved in 1988 by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. More legal fights followed and Reed died in 2012. Discussions began that same year to sell the land. In September, the sale was announced to Bex Farms.
The site meets the regulations for a landfill but has not operated as one yet.
Barry Sneed, a public information officer for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, said the existing permit allows the owner to develop 13 acres of the property as a landfill. The permit will expire Feb. 1, 2015. He said the owner of the permit will have to submit a renewal application at least 120 days before that date or let the permit expire.
“The permit transfer will be evaluated and if it meets all of the criteria, it will be transferred to 600 Land, Inc.,” Sneed said.