The Russell County Board of Education added their own lawsuit last Wednesday to two lawsuits already filed against A & S Protein, an animal rendering plant located in northern Russell County in a residential area near Russell Springs Elementary.
The lawsuit claims that the plant which boils down animal carcasses for feed and cosmetic applications, located 1,000 yards from the school, is injuring students, faulty of the school as well as the general public who visit the school.
Similar to a suit filed two weeks ago by residents near the plant, the suit claims that the plant operates in a manner which releases a noxious odor affecting health and well being. The suit also claims the operation of the facility has contributed to an increase in flies and other animals around the facility.
Additionally the suit claims that runoff from dead animal carcasses and offal piled around the plant has resulted in a runoff of pollutants.
In the suit, it is claimed the defendants in the case have created an unreasonable interference with the rights of students and others as outlined earlier.
In a circuit court hearing a week ago Thursday, Judge Vernon Miniard heard multiple testimonies by residents claiming to be affected by the operation of A & S Protein with a request from them to halt operations until a verdict on the operation could be reached in court.
The court gave counsel seven days to file responses, findings, conclusions and to propose judgment before reviewing and making a decision on how to proceed.
The hearing took place from about 10:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., much of that time dedicated to testimony from residents who recounted episodes of bad odor, physical illness, health concerns and unpleasant visuals of piles of animal carcasses.
The school calendar was amended to reflect changes due to missed days on account of inclement weather at a special call meeting of the Russell County Board of Education.
The changes were made after a bill passed legislation doing away with the 170 school day requirement, as long as the school has the required 1,062 instructional hours.
Officials said that the 1,062 hours would be met in 166 school days.
With the changes, the last day of school is now scheduled to be May 28 with Russell County High School graduation on Thursday, May 29. There will be no school on Memorial day, May 26.
The board voted to accept all low bids concerning the Russell County High School renovation project. The bids were opened March 27 for consideration.
The school’s project had a bonding potential of $12 million and the renovation is projected to cost $10.875 million with an expected average interest rate of 3.7 percent on the bonds for 20-year financing, according to Joe Nance of the Finance Division of Ross, Sinclair and Associates.
The board voted to adopt a resolution authorizing the Russell County School District Finance Corporation to issue revenue bonds.