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City changes locks at McMinnville Green
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Pictured is Public Works Department director Brad Hennessee locking the gate at McMinnville Green.

McMinnville officials are locking the doors on the landlord business, literally.

The city’s Streets and Sanitation Committee met Tuesday and Public Works Department director Brad Hennessee was given verbal permission to change the locks at the transfer station and prevent unrestricted access to the property by McMinnville Green owner John Hoch, who leased a portion of the property to expand his recycling business.

“I have no hesitation to say lock it up and control access to the property,” said city attorney Tim Pirtle, who said he’s made several unsuccessful attempts to contact Hoch by phone.

Prompting the statement was Hennessee requesting guidance after he too has been unsuccessful in contacting Hoch.

“I haven’t had any direct contact with Mr. Hoch,” said Hennessee. “It does appear to me that he’s not coming back. I would like your guidance on what to do next. Should we lock the place down? Anyone who has leased equipment there could contact the city and we’d allow them in to retrieve their property.”

Cleaning and clearing of the property will now begin. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has cited the city, and issued notices of non-compliance, for loose debris caused by the recycling business. 

Hennessee said a cleanup effort could satisfy the state and prevent the city from losing its transfer station permit. 

Alderman Steve Harvey suggested that the city pursue recycling some of the material before transporting it to a landfill.

“I understand that recycling is struggling right now,” said Harvey. “However, if some of it can be recycled, I think we should look into it.”

Hennessee replied, “We will do that.”

McMinnville Green ceased operation at the end of February.