CONTROVERSIAL BURNS FUEL DEPOT COULD GET
COUNTY GO-AHEAD TUESDAY VIA SETTLEMENT
Dickson County could end its fight Tuesday with Titan Partners over a planned gasoline-loading terminal in Burns.
The Dickson County Board of Commissioners was expected Tuesday at its meeting to take up a settlement agreement notched late-week between the county planning commission and Titan Partners, a fuel distributor seeking to build the $50 million depot.
If approved, the settlement would clear any further county site opposition to the project and give Titan a financial advantage in remaining lawsuits brought by locals strongly opposed to the development.
The 12-member county commission is expected to vote on the settlement agreement though it is not on the agenda due to the agreement happening just before the meeting.
Procedurally, the commission could suspend its rules in the meeting and vote on the settlement after discussion. It would not be subject to further comment from the public.
Residents around the proposed site of the depot and across the county have vocally opposed the terminal because of the threat they say it poses to nearby water supplies, traffic safety and the quality of life of neighbors who will see tanker trucks rumbling up and down Two Mile Road to the complex.
Titan Partners, a subsidiary of Houston fuel giant Buckeye Partners, has proposed six fuel storage tanks on land near I-40 and I-840 to load gasoline on tanker trucks for delivery to local gas stations.
A gasoline pipeline runs right through the property to fill the storage tanks.
Speaking on the Power Lunch Tuesday on 101.5 The One and WDKN, Dickson County Mayor Bob Rial said the settlement addresses many of the environmental concerns raised by citizens while ending potentially costly litigation with Titan.
For example, it provides $400,000 for a fire pumper truck or environmentally-friendly fire suppression foam and calls for improved diking to capture potential spills. It also mandates greater sharing of environmental information with local authorities.
A summary of the settlement also shows that Titan has agreed to foot additional costs to Two Mile Road improvements and make a $1 million donation to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee for county projects.
The terminal project has been paused for several months in light of the county planning commission rejecting final site plan approval for it after initially fast-tracking it in the Spring.
That nod to public outcry prompted the lawsuit by Titan against the planning commission that is on the cusp of being settled.
Notwithstanding how the county commission votes Tuesday on the settlement, the grassroots Turnbull Preservation Group will continue its lawsuits to stop the project, said Dickson attorney Rodger Waynick, representing the group.
He said he intends to appeal the settlement in civil court and may file additional claims against the county for “secret meetings” that the planning commission recently held with various county commissioners to discuss settlement terms.
Rial during the Power Lunch, said a meeting to go over terms was held in a closed executive session on January 11.
He said the executive session was proper to discuss litigation.
The county exiting litigation against Titan would be a blow to grassroot opponents in at least one important way.
Without final site plan approval that the settlement provides, Titan needed a judge’s order to proceed with the project. That could have taken months or never happened.
With the settlement, however, Titan has the go-ahead from the county to proceed unless opponents get a court to halt it.
To even get a requested stay, the opponents likely would have to put up a multi-million dollar bond to pay for delays in the event they ultimately lost the case.