Waco: City Council to authorize purchase of tract for landfill

The proposed landfill site surrounds the T.K. Cemetery. (Photo by Christopher Shadrock/file)
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) The Waco City Council Tuesday evening is set to approve the purchase of an additional tract of land near Axtell for use as a landfill in spite of landowners’ efforts to derail the sale.

Council is set to meet Tuesday in work session at 3 p.m. and in open council business session at 6 p.m., both meeting held in the Brazos Theater at the Waco Convention Center.

The council will consider a resolution of some 20.01 acres of land, which rests both in McLennan and Limestone counties at 4550 T.K. Parkway, in Axtell, intended for use as a landfill.

In October the council approved the $3.2 million purchase of a 772-acre tract south of State Highway 31 in Hill and Limestone counties after earlier voting to spend $1.8 million on 502-acres of land off T.K. Parkway for a total of $5,000,000 on more than 1,200-acres.

The council voted on July 31 to approve the 502-acre purchase and also approved a resolution authorizing the filing of an application with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for a permit for a landfill on the site.

The city began looking for potential sites after encountering strong opposition to the initial plan to build a new landfill on a 270-acre site bounded by Highway 84 and Old Lorena Road adjacent to the existing landfill, which opened in the early 1990s.

The Waco landfill serves 11 counties.

Waco residents and businesses account for more than 60 percent of the trash delivered to the landfill.

The rest comes from surrounding areas.

As well, the council will discuss a planned unit development project that is designed to support the Brazos Prominade Project and is set to approve a contract for the redesign and renovation of the Cameron Park Zoo entrance building.

There are several issues that could bring public comment during that portion at the beginning of the 6 p.m. meeting, most likely among them a public hearing on a council plan to change zoning classifications in certain parts of the Waco Commons properties that would enhance the Brazos Riverfront Development’s Brazos Promenade Project.

The main issue during the business session is the landfill, a project the council has been trying to complete for some time, and one that brought Axtell-area residents to the council’s August meeting where members voted to continue to pursue the project, and approved the purchase of a 502-acre tract of land near the intersection of State Highway 31 and T. K. Parkway for $1.8 million.

Hundreds of residents of eastern McLennan County and western Limestone County say they were caught by surprise by the deal the City of Waco cut for a potential landfill site in the Axtell area.

The landfill would serve 11 communities and is meant to replace the current landfill, near McGregor, that currently is operating at three-times its designed rate and is going to be full within five years, city planners say.

The deal still has to undergo government scrutiny and has to be approved, but in the end the price tag, should the project be approved, the cost should not exceed $2,206,895.

Then council will consider a resolution that awards a contract for the renovation of the entrance building at the Cameron Park Zoo.

Specifications call for the contract not to exceed $343,286, the agenda says.