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Lingering underground contamination at an old Haywood County landfill in Waynesville has prompted the county to buy out a neighboring 25-acre tract, part of a costly plan to stop the spread of pollutants.

The county is purchasing the adjoining property for $850,000. The county estimates it will cost upwards of $5 million over coming years to tackle the contamination. State environmental regulations are forcing the county to fix the issue.

fr matthewsThe newly elected tax collector in Haywood County has been benched indefinitely.

Mike Matthews was supposed to take office Monday, but his swearing in ceremony was canceled at the 11th hour. Matthews wasn’t able to get bonded at the amount stipulated by county commissioners — namely a $410,000 professional liability bond. 

Haywood County commissioners are being accused of partisan politics for upping the liability bond for the county tax collector, although commissioners say it’s just a safeguard given the limited experience and less-than-stellar financial record of the incoming tax collector.

Critics say the Democratic commissioners are just trying to shut down the newly elected Republican tax collector Mike Matthews by setting his bond too high.

The newly elected tax collector in Haywood County was unable to take office Monday as scheduled after failing to secure a $410,000 bond.

For now, the long-time tax collector David Francis will continue in the role on an interim basis.

fr matthewsThe long-time tax collector in Haywood County was narrowly defeated in the November election, a surprise upset that has sent county leaders into a tailspin the past two weeks.

Haywood County commissioners fear the newly elected tax collector — who has no experience, no training and few qualifications for the position — won’t have any idea what he’s doing or how to do it when he assumes the job in just two weeks.

fr hrmcIt’s been three months since publicly owned Haywood Regional Medical Center became a private hospital owned by Duke LifePoint Healthcare, but it will be years before the county knows for sure how much it will get from the $26 million sale.

fr 911A $3 million project to build a central 911 dispatching center inside the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office aims to reduce response times for police, fire and rescue calls.

fr matthewsIn a narrow upset in the Haywood County Tax Collector race last week, voters elected a man with a history of delinquent property tax bills and little experience for the job.

fr davidfrancisA new tax collector has been elected in Haywood County, but when he takes office next month his duties will be substantially less than the outgoing tax collector.

fr GOPKarin Wollin had just taken a break from a sullen morning of sorting through stacks of campaign signs at the Haywood County Democratic headquarters in Waynesville when a clatter was heard on the sidewalk outside.

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