KIMBALL, Tenn. — When Creek Meadows subdivision resident Ronnie Case asked the city to pour a concrete slab at a spot many area residents use as a dump, he had no idea the controversy it would cause.
Case said he and other residents began leaving things on a small city-owned site between his house and another resident's, and when Kimball workers picked up the garbage with a tractor, an unsightly hole began to develop.
Last month, Mayor David Jackson agreed to put down a concrete slab on the site so workers could pick up the garbage without damaging the property.
But Jackson said he stopped the work when Gary Dixon, another subdivision residents, complained.
"The reason I'm opposed to it is I don't want to see a dumping station going to my house," Dixon said. "If they quit dumping stuff in there, there wouldn't be a hole."
On Thursday, Dixon asked the Kimball Board of Mayor and Aldermen to fill in the existing hole and put up a "No Dumping" sign.
Instead, the board voted 4-1 to complete the concrete slab, which is estimated to cost more than $1,500.
Alderman Mark Payne, who made the motion to finish the work, said putting up signs at the site won't stop people from leaving garbage there.
"I say put [the slab] out there, and if it causes a problem, it won't be a big deal to tear it up."
A sign would look worse than a concrete slab, Jackson said.
"The reason we were going to put that slab there was not for just trash," he said. "That's where everybody was putting their brush. Four or five houses right there all use the same location."
Dixon said he's seen all kinds of trash dumped at the site, and it hasn't been used just for brush.
"It's gotten to where it's just trash, and I mean just trash," he said. "There's been everything in there but dead dogs. I haven't seen any abandoned cars there yet. I just don't want to see an eyesore, and that's what it's going to be. It's already been one."
Case withdrew his request for the slab before the board voted and offered to pay for any concrete the city had purchased to do the work.
"I apologize for creating this disturbance," he said. "I thought maybe I might get a medal from the neighborhood for coming up with this idea, but I never thought it would be this controversial."
Officials agreed that the city is setting a precedent by authorizing the concrete slab, and Jackson said the board "probably would" do the same thing if similar situations arise in other neighborhoods.
If the slab causes a problem as Dixon suggested, Jackson said the board will revisit the issue.
"I understand what [the board] is trying to take care of, but it won't be what it's intended to be," Dixon said.