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As voters hit the polls Tuesday to vote for the country’s next president, two local officials spent hours working out issues that have divided them for months.
Radcliff Mayor J.J. Duvall and Hardin Judge-Executive Harry Berry met for more than three hours on “neutral ground” at the main offices of Fort Knox Federal Credit Union, and both men said they believe they have reached compromises regarding their disagreement on the county’s solid waste management plan, which is due to the state in mid-December.
The two declined to discuss specifics of the compromise until City Attorney Michael Pike and County Attorney Jennifer Oldham can meet and put the plan into formal writing. Once finished, a resolution will be presented to Radcliff City Council and Hardin Fiscal Court for review and approval, they said. Berry said he believes the issue could be resolved by the end of the month if all goes as planned.
“We really don’t want to talk about what the specifics are right now,” Berry said. “… We want to stop the public back and forth with this issue.”
When pressed for details on the discussion, both men declined further comment.
Radcliff asked for and received an extension from the state on the plan after it rejected a resolution opting into the county’s five-year update, which outlines strategies for solid waste management, such as collection and disposal.
Duvall has stressed the city’s opposition to a mandate requiring the second-class city to take its waste to the county-owned Pearl Hollow Landfill and has expressed concerns about the county taking control of its waste franchise.
Duvall has said the city was owed more involvement in the development of the county’s plan and has argued state law gives a second-class city the right to draft and implement its own portion of the plan.
Berry has maintained the county has the right to mandate where waste within its borders is disposed under state law but has said the county has no interest in usurping the city’s franchises.
After some scheduling conflicts, the two sat down Tuesday and discussed their disagreements and said they have the framework in place to build a stronger relationship. Berry said they now have a greater understanding of one another’s positions.
Duvall agreed and said he was thankful they were able to meet and find common ground.
“We probably should’ve done this a lot sooner,” Duvall said.
Following their joint statement, Berry and Duvall briefly discussed who would win the presidential election, which led to a quip from Berry.
“We won,” Berry said. “We won today.”
Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or firstname.lastname@example.org.