Granite residents furious at new officials Politicians can't shut burning stump dump.

February 26, 1991|By Jay Merwin | Jay Merwin,Evening Sun Staff

Some western Baltimore County residents said they worked in the last election to defeat incumbents whom they believed to be unwilling to deal with a troublesome tree stump dump in their area.

Now, they're frustrated with the new administration of County Executive Roger B. Hayden that says it can do nothing to stop the dump from reopening even as the underground fire that started there Feb. 2 smolders on.

"When the county executive and his office can't do something about a situation, what do you do?" asked Rosalyn Roddy, a founder of the Greater Patapsco Community Association, which has long experience monitoring the Patapsco Valley Farms site and complaining about it.

The group is looking for a lawyer who will donate time to file a class-action lawsuit and seek an injunction to stop owner James Jett from continuing to accept tree stumps and other debris while the fire burns.

Roddy was part of a group of 10 who stood at the entrance to the dump in Granite site yesterday to chant "no more trucks" as trucks carrying covered loads arrived.

The protesters' anger alighted briefly on James McKinney, an assistant representing the county executive, who tried to explain that he was as frustrated as they.

"I wish I had recorded the fights I've had with the legal department over the last three days," he said.

The fire that broke out at Jett's farm in the 8700 block of Dogwood Road could last as long as a year now that firefighters have decided to allow the fire to burn itself out.

A few firefighters remain to monitor the fire, but, by ceasing active firefighting, the county has restored control of the property to Jett.

Jett's lawyer is withholding comment until the Fire Department completes its investigation of the fire.

Meanwhile, county officials started work yesterday on a survey for setting the size of a performance bond that Jett will have to post under a 1989 law passed to regulate places such as his. But as Jett awaits a county decision on his permit application under the new law, he is allowed to continue operating.

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