Green Hill P3 to continue pursuit of landfill contract
Despite being voted out of the running, Green Hill P3 or its members will continue to pursue a contract with Newton County to lease and operate the county landfill, and settle a lawsuit with the East Georgia Land & Development Company.
“We’re continuing to work on this project in Newton County,” said Tee Stribling, lead project manager for Green Hill.
Stribling said Green Hill has negotiated with the county transparently and in good faith, hitting back at critics who accused the company of divisive tactics during a special called meeting on July 1 when the Board of Commissioners voted to “eliminate from consideration” Green Hill.
Stribling would not say whether the same parties would file another proposal under a different name, saying those involved are “still trying to figure out the next move.”
He also sought to clarify the relationship between East Georgia and Green Hill.
Green Hill is a limited liability limited partnership whose sole general partner, according to the Secretary of State Corporations Division, is National Management
Company Inc. The CEO of National Management is James Baker, who is also the CEO of East Georgia, which is threatening to sue the county and pursue a private landfill if the county does not agree to a contract with Green Hill.
Green Hill P3, which has been negotiating with the county since before the Supreme Court’s ruling, had proposed leasing and operating the landfill from the county. The county, in turn, would have used $8.5 million in payments to buy back the plot from East Georgia, which would have received additional compensation from Green Hill through a combination of cash and equity in the company.
In literature distributed to the public and to the BOC, Green Hill has represented RLS Consulting and Investment as its main backer, with no mention of National Management.
Stribling maintained that RLS is a partner.
Stribling said National Management allows East Georgia to “control” Green Hill “on an interim basis” until an agreement is signed, but emphasized, “there is no question about the fact that East Georgia and Green Hill are two entirely separate entities.”
In an email to The News, Baker wrote: "Green Hill is a Partnership and National Management Company, Inc. is the General Partner of Green Hill as required by East Georgia to provide security until the TRI PARTY AGREEMENT would have been finalized at which time National would be replaced."
Stribling said both the BOC and the county attorney were aware of the “gen- eral structure” of Green Hill and that members of East Georgia were also members of Green Hill.
“The commissioners set in motion a process that led to Green Hill being formed,” Stribling said.
Commissioners Nancy Schulz and J.C. Henderson said they were unaware of National Management Company’s partnership in Green Hill, or any other direct connection between Baker, East Georgia, and Green Hill.
County Attorney Tommy Craig told The News Tuesday he was unaware of National Management or Baker's role in Green Hill, saying that it had been represented to him that RLS was the principle in the company.
“It’s news to me,” he said, adding that he was “not familiar with the internal structure” of Green Hill.
Commissioners Lanier Sims, Levie Maddox, and John Douglas could not be reached for comment.
When asked if he would consider another proposal from Green Hill or another company with the same membership, Henderson said the bidding should be open to “anybody and everybody.”
Meanwhile, Craig said he was “furiously researching” the county’s options in response to East Georgia’s renewed threat of litigation after the tripartite agreement with Green Hill fell through.
In October 2014, after more than 17 years of litigation, Georgia’s Supreme Court ordered the county to hand over a zoning compliance letter to East Georgia, the first step in the company’s pursuit of a private landfill on its large plot on Lower River Road.
East Georgia has also demanded a second letter from the county stating that a sanitary landfill is not in violation of the Solid Waste Management Plan in effect on June 25, 1997.
Craig said the second letter was “a more complicated matter,” but declined to go into detail.
The county is expected to respond next week.