By Betsy Finklea
The Dillon County Council passed a resolution on Wednesday to voice their opposition to a bomb training facility that wants to locate in North Carolina near Dillon County.
The council also agreed that they wanted their attorney to represent them at the public hearing that is to be held on this matter at a later date.
Michael Reaves appeared before council to inform them of the issue. He said they have been fighting this for the past week or so.
A company called Alottabang LLC, out of Melbourne, Florida, bought about 600 acres in North Carolina to create the facility, but they use an easement through Dillon County to access the property.
Reaves said they have been told that these will be 500 lb. warheads and the effects will be felt for miles—all the way into Rowland and into Dillon County.
Reaves said they have issues with environmental concerns as there are two active creeks—Shoe Heel Creek and Wilkinson Creek— on the property that directly feed into the Little Pee Dee River. Multiple families and landowners have signed petitions against it in South Carolina
Reaves said initially the landowners around the landlocked property were told that it was going to be a Wounded Warriors Training Facility, and many of them were on board with it, but it has turned into a 360 into this. He said they are working to get the easement removed from Mike Reaves land. It is an easement that has been there since the 1950s by previous landowners for logging.
Reaves said they are very thankful for Vice-Chairwoman Detrice McCollum-Dawkins going and speaking at a hearing on the matter and all that she has done as they continue to fight it.
Chairman Stevie Grice asked what they could do to help because he wouldn’t want that around his house.
Councilman Buzzy Finklea said if the effects could be felt four or five miles it is going to affect people’s houses. Reaves said that it was really going to affect property values. Finklea said it would also affect the scenic river. Reaves said even if there was an accident it would ruin one of the landmarks of Dillon County.
The county attorney said that the county administrator could notify SC DHEC and their water permitting department so DHEC can open a case if they haven’t already. Councilman Dennis Townsend asked if they could do a resolution in opposition. County Administrator Tim Harper said that the attorney could write it up the resolution and submit it to the Robeson County Board of Commissioners.
Even if Robeson County revokes the permits, they can escalate it to a judge and once it gets before a judge, then no one can speak at that point and everything is submitted on paper so anything they can get definitely helps.
The council voted unanimously to pass the resolution against it.
Councilman Jamal Campbell asked if they could send an attorney to the next public meeting. They will be there to represent the county.
As soon as we know the details of the next public hearing or what the public can do to express their opinion in regards to this facility, we will post them.
To see an enlarged map, click the gallery image.