Local man claims landfill expansion damaged graves; city claims misinformation

Local News

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The recent expansion of the Dothan City Landfill has got one local farmer outraged.

Bobby Lewis, a local farmer, said the city of Dothan has recently torn down an old church and cemetery with the expansion of the city landfill.

Lewis grew up on the land in question, and although he doesn’t know the name of the old church. He claims the city recently demolished it, along with some 28 graves just north of the public safety training center on Ennis Road.

“It’s not their history so they don’t care about it,” Lewis said. “It’s like they don’t care about these people’s graves. What if it was your parents, grandparents, children, aunts, uncles, cousins, your forefathers? Those graves need to be honored, and yet the people at City Hall, the people in charge, has decided to destroy those graves.

Lewis said he went before the mayor and city commissioners on Jan. 20, 2015, letting them know the graves were there and asked them to not move forward with the expansion if it meant damaging the old church and alleged graves.

However, the city says differently, saying this is based on misinformation.

“The city is not aware of any graves our there, 28 graves, out on this property,” Public Works Director Charles Metzger said. “The only thing we’re doing right now is putting a fence up along on our property along the road. We’re getting rid of the old fence that was out there. That’s minimum disruption as far as where the fence is going, and 28 graves, where they’re at or where he’s saying, there’s all kind of misinformation going on with the landfill.”

“I’m calling upon the public, upon law enforcement to take the appropriate action to bring those involved,” Lewis said. “Those in charge held accountable for the desecration of the graves and the historic black church and schoolhouse.

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