Valdosta Daily Times

State News

November 15, 2012

Stench from Ga. landfill raises zoning concerns

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — The stench emanating from a Hall County landfill owned by Gov. Nathan Deal’s business partner has led neighbors and county officials to question whether the site is following its zoning rules.

The landfill, owned by Ken Cronan and adjacent to an auto salvage business he co-owns with Deal, had been composting food waste although at least one county commissioner says the site was never authorized to do so despite obtaining state permits, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (

The landfill in Gainesville, about 55 miles north of Atlanta, was originally zoned to accept construction and demolition-related materials, the newspaper said. In addition, the Hall County Commission in 2007 turned down a request by Cronan to build a solid waste transfer station on the property.

Earlier this year, Cronan received state permits to allow the site to begin a composting operation and accept food waste. In a letter to state environmental officials a year ago, County Commission Chairman Tom Oliver said the proposed composting facility “complies with local zoning and land use ordinances.”

Yet Hall County Commissioner Ashley Bell, who represents the district, told the newspaper the county never approved those changes.

County staff “are in the active process of reviewing the site in question to determine exactly what activities are taking place at this location,” spokeswoman Katie Crumley said in an email to the newspaper.

Oliver did not immediately return a call by The Associated Press on Wednesday. The newspaper said Cronan could not be reached for comment, and Deal’s spokesman has said the governor’s businesses are in a blind trust and that the governor has nothing to do with the day-to-day operations.

Deal and Cronan had worked for years to win state approval for the landfill. The partners bought the property in 2002, with Cronan assuming “full ownership” in 2003, according to the governor’s staff. Deal was listed as an officer in the landfill business as recently as 2007, but in 2008 Cronan amended the records to remove Deal’s name, the newspaper said.


Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,


For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Valdosta Daily Times e-Edition, or our print edition

Text Only
State News
  • Ga. online tuition dropping

    Jenni Small has good reason for avoiding 8 a.m. world literature classes at Dalton State College in northern Georgia. The 23-year-old works night shifts as an operator for carpet manufacturer Shaw while finishing her bachelor’s degree in mathematics.
    Instead of heading straight to class from work, she uses eCore — an online system that focuses on “core” classes that every Georgia state college or university student must take — for 1 or 2 courses each semester.

    April 21, 2014

  • Vidalia Onion Battle_Rich copy.jpg Vidalia onion farmer back in court over ship date

    One of Georgia’s most prominent Vidalia onion farmers is going back to court in an effort to stop the state agriculture commissioner from fining growers who ship the famous sweet onions before a certain date.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • GEORGIA PORTS_Rich copy.jpg Ga. ports on track to smash cargo records

    Georgia’s seaports are on track to finish the 2014 fiscal year with record cargo volumes as third-quarter numbers show big growth capped by the ports’ busiest month ever in terms of total tonnage being shipped to and from the docks.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gov. Deal signs prisoner re-entry bill into law

    Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a bill into law on Sunday that is aimed at reducing recidivism among ex-offenders and helping them successfully re-enter society.

    April 14, 2014

  • Deal reports $3.9M in cash for re-election bid

    Gov. Nathan Deal on Monday reported $3.9 million in cash for his re-election bid, after raising about $84,000 in 11 days since the legislative session ended.

    April 8, 2014

  • photoscape_eagle.jpg Ga. eagle population continues growth

    During a late-March aerial survey by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, more than 25 bald eagle nests were counted in northeastern Georgia. All but three represented viable adults and chicks.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Private company selling Georgia accident reports

    Selling car crash reports to a private company has saved time and money according to state officials, but some drivers cite concerns over retrieval costs and privacy.

    April 7, 2014

  • Forecasters issue flood watch in Ga.

    The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch covering much of the state.

    April 6, 2014

  • Georgia wants private companies to manage student housing

    Georgia is on course to become one of the nation’s largest experiments in privatized college dorms, but it’s unclear whether the changes will lower students’ bills at a time when university costs are soaring.

    April 6, 2014

  • Ga. misses food stamp backlog deadline

    State officials say Georgia missed the deadline to clear backlogged food stamp cases, putting millions of dollars of federal funding at risk.

    April 5, 2014

Top News

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
     View Results