Newton County is very close to reaching a deal with the East Georgia Land and Development Company following nearly two decades of litigation, the company's head, Jim Baker, told The News Thursday.
Georgia's Supreme Court recently upheld East Georgia's right to build a private landfill on Lower River Road next to the county's existing landfill.
Baker said the company intends to move forward with plans to build the landfill and expressed confidence that a solution with the county could be reached in the next 30 days.
"If a settlement takes place...it is going to be very, very beneficial to the county and a win-win for all parties," he said.
"All we're going to do is what we wanted to do to begin with," he continued, adding that it was "always [the company's] intention" to reach an amicable settlement.
Baker would not confirm details of the negotiations, nor whether the company could potentially take over management of the county landfill, as has been rumored. The county landfill, which already costs the county about a million dollars a year and is in violation of environmental regulations, will soon start costing between $4 and $5 million a year.
A deal could potentially save the county millions more in damages to East Georgia.
County Commissioner Nancy Schulz confirmed that settlement negotiations are taking place, but would not comment on the details of those talks. She expressed hope that a solution would be found that was a "win" for all parties.