JUNE 3, 2005 -- Opponents of a proposed landfill in Navassa suffered a blow Thursday. Legislation that would have given Brunswick County control over the land was blocked.
A bill filed by State Representative Bonner Stiller would have transferred control of the proposed landfill site from the town of Navassa to Brunswick County. It's a move, some say, would have put the landfill in jeopardy.
The bill won't be heard before the House or Senate. It was blocked Thursday by Representative William Wainwright of Craven County.
Stiller was unavailable for comment, but in an email he wrote "Representative Wainwright's decision centers on race. He does not want a predominately black community to lose their opportunity for Hugo Neu to locate a 350 foot high landfill in their backyard."
Navassa is a predominately black community and there are residents who would welcome the jobs. Local resident Leonard Jenkins is not one of them. He says it's not about race at all. He's opposed to the project for environmental reasons and says Wainwright is uninformed.
"He hasn't even come to see the people. If he thinks it's a black white issue, he needs to come and see what the other side has to say," says Jenkins.
Stiller is encouraging landfill opponents to contact Wainwright. In his email Stiller also wrote, "Why would the representative for Craven County citizens involve himself in the lives of citizens in Brunswick County? Maybe he should invite Hugo Neu to Craven County. I'm sure he could find a lovely spot for them in his backyard."