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Residents want two convenience centers to stay
Convenience Centers Still Inconvenient 1.jpg
The Smartt Station Convenience Center receives frequent complaints because of its tight setup next to railroad tracks. Despite complaints, many residents do not want the center moved to a new location. This center is also on railroad property and Warren County Sanitation Department director Josh Roberts recently said the railroad was unaware the county is using it. - photo by Bethany Porter

Morrison and Smartt Station Convenience Centers continue to be a problem, but most residents do not want them moved to a new location. 

Warren County Sanitation Department director Josh Roberts gave an update on the convenience center progress at the county’s Health and Welfare Committee meeting Tuesday night where he says Morrison continues to have problems with leakage. 

“I’ve been in discussion with the county executive and Morrison Mayor Sue Anderson and I met with her and the vice mayor at Morrison,” said Roberts. “One day we were out there and we were having some very serious issues with the leakage. I called her to see if she could come over and she was right there. I had a driver out there who pulled up and we kind of showed him what we were dealing with there. They fully understood and we kind of discussed more railroad property if possible there at that location. The railroad uses that right beside of us for storage and it is not used very often. I don’t know if they could give up a little of that and let us take and expand that site and turn that compactor where we can keep that leakage in the box.”

Roberts says turning the compactor will allow more space and prevent trucks from blocking the road and help the leakage problem. 

In order for this to be an option, the railroad would have to allow them to use the extra land. The railroad was previously unaware its land was being used for the convenience center. 

The Sanitation Department previously mentioned the idea to consolidate the two convenience centers. Residents have been vocal about not wanting the Morrison and Smartt Station sites combined at another location. 

“The feedback I got from Sue is they do not want to move that site. Everybody does not want that. They have called her quite a bit and they don’t want it moved. I understand that too, but I told her that I have to be in compliance with TDEC or they can shut us down, so we have to do something,” said Roberts.

If the railroad does not allow them to use more land, Roberts says the other options are either to rebuild from the ground up or relocate. Smartt Station is still in an inconvenience and sometimes dangerous area. 

Residents have to back into oncoming traffic when leaving the center and many end up parking on the side of the road and walking instead of risking it.

“I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me and they don’t want that location moved at all,” said Commissioner Joseph Stotts.

There is a railroad board meeting sometime this month where the issue of the county using more land will be discussed.