New Hill submits new petition against sewage plant

September 10, 2010 5:36:10 AM PDT
Noise, odor and traffic are just a few of the reasons why the residents of New Hill in Wake County do not want a sewage treatment plant in their neighborhood.

The community filed a petition Thursday to stop site construction the plant until a hearing is held.

The document, which lists a number of concerns over the negative impact the plant would have on the neighborhood, is the latest development in a battle that's been going on for years.

Over the last five years, New Hill residents have been very vocal about their concerns and reservations.

"We are losing our identity," resident Paul Barth said in 2006 during an interview with ABC11 Eyewitness News. "We're just a holding tank -- a dumping ground. I am going to smell the sewage of four other towns."

The plan is to build a sewage treatment plant in the middle of the community's historic district. The New Hill Community Association, which is headed by Barth, has held rallies, signed petition and taken its battle to a Wake County courtroom.

The association also has unsuccessfully sued the towns of Cary, Holly Springs, Apex and Morrisville, which make up Western Wake Partners.

"We all know that the partners need more capacity, nobody's objecting to that, but what we're saying is, there's a better spot for it," attorney Chris Brook said.

Brook is representing the New Hill Community Association in its latest legal move.

"I think you, at a certain point, need to get a third party involved in a lot of these discussions," Brook, Southern Coalition for Social Justice in Durham, said.

Brook says the group filed Thursday's petition asking an administrative law judge to put the project on hold. The community also wants Western Wake Partners to consider alternate sites that wouldn't have such a negative impact on the New Hill community, especially on African-American and low income families.

"And it's not something that they've been hearing the concerns of the New Hill community, and if they've been hearing them, they haven't been responding to them," Brooks said.

The New Hill community received a $10,000 grant and held a barbecue fundraiser to help cover the costs of litigation.

The community seems prepared to do what it can to keep fighting.

ABC11 Eyewitness News reached out the Western Wake Partners Coalition but did not hear back from the organization.

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