The Moore American

Local News

February 5, 2014

County resident questions dirt, debris dump

NORMAN — A rural Norman landowner has raised concerns about tons of dirt and debris that Cleveland County crews dumped over a five-day period onto the property to his east.

George Dotson said in early January he witnessed nearly 100 truckloads being dumped by county trucks onto the property. The dirt and debris came from a city-county road improvement project four miles away on the north side of Highway 9.

There is a natural tributary flowing through both properties, Dotson said. He is concerned that heavy rains will erode his property because the natural flow of water through the channel has been altered.

Cleveland County Commissioner Darry Stacy, whose crews moved the dirt and debris, said Dotson’s concerns are unfounded. Dumping the dirt at that location saves the county “huge sums of money,” Stacy said.

He estimated that it would have cost nearly $70,000 to haul the dirt, tree limbs and other vegetation to an approved landfill site 24 miles away in south Oklahoma City. But it cost less than $700 to haul the dirt just four miles away onto private property.

Stacy said county crews have been dumping excess materials onto the site along Cedar Lane since at least 2006 and that it is done routinely at sites throughout the county and in other counties. In addition to the site being handy for crews, he said the ravine that was filled in was a potential safety issue on Cedar Lane.

“Darry Stacy told me that this was really a city project, and not a county one,” Dotson said.

Shawn O’Leary, public works director for the City of Norman, said city officials did not even know about the dumping until Dotson talked to his council member Lynne Miller. She relayed Dotson’s concerns to city officials.

O’Leary said the city discovered that dumping all of that dirt and debris onto the private property “was actually altering the flow of the stream” that runs into Dave Blue Creek and eventually into Lake Thunderbird.

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