Live Oak — Around 200 residents turned out for the "No Bio in Suwannee County" protest rally/town hall meeting at Millennium Park in downtown Live Oak on Sunday, Oct. 13.
Just days before the rally, Commissioners Ricky Gamble and Phil Oxendine publicly stated they do not support the venture. Then, just minutes before the rally started at 3 p.m. today Commissioner Clyde Fleming told a Democrat reporter that he was making a stand against the project. Fleming asked the event organizers if he could be the first speaker on the agenda and they agreed.
After Fleming announced he would not be supporting the medical incinerator project, the crowd erupted in loud cheers and applause.
Even more good news for Suwannee County residents arrived when Commissioner Jason Bashaw publicly announced that he, too, is against the incinerator project.
That makes four out of five county commissioners who have listened to their constituents and denounced the medical waste incinerator project for Suwannee County.
Bashaw stated he was going to ask County Administrator Randy Harris to get a consensus of commissioners and send it to General Barry to ask them to seek elsewhere for a site for their incinerator.
On Monday, Oct. 14, the Democrat phoned Chairman Wesley Wainwright about his decision. As of press time Tuesday afternoon, Wainwright said his opinion remains up in the air, for now.
“My opinion has not been finalized because I haven’t obtained all of the information yet,” Wainwright said. “We don’t have all of their information, so I’m still undecided because all of the information hasn’t been evaluated.”
The Democrat made many attempts to contact Hipps for comment, but none were successful.
IWMS could still come before the board asking for them to sell the 25 acres they seek to build the medical waste incineration plant. If the consensus of the commissioners hold, the vote would be a no. However, IWMS can still seek land near the catalyst site that is bank owned.
“No Bio in Suwannee County” member Lori McCraney sent an email Monday to each commissioner asking for an immediate vote to rescind the ordinance that allows company to come to the catalyst site by right, and to immediately take catalyst site properties off the market until land use regulations are changed “to prevent undesirable industries and businesses from locating here.”