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Thousands Approve $75 Million Settlement for Ash Contamination

4:06 PM, Aug 23, 2005   |    comments
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By Lindy Thackston First Coast News JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Thousands of people on the Northside say they were exposed to toxic ash produced by trash incinerators in the 1920s to 1960s. They say the city should have cleaned up the sites in North Riverside and Northwest Jacksonville. Monday night, more than 3,000 residents accepted the $75 million settlement, but the city council still has to approve it. Many want the money for their years of troubles. Now they are a step closer to ending years of litigation with the city. Nora Williams has been there for it all. She grew up, and is now raising her kids, at a home right on an ash contamination site. "When I found out about it I was so frightened," said Nora Williams. Williams says she's pleased with the settlement, but says it won't calm her fears. "It's not the money, but one good thing about it would be relocation," said Williams. "I definitely deserve that." Not everyone came out of the meeting happy. Some residents tell FCN they are upset at how the money will be dished out. "I walked out because the situation was not fair at all," said Amanda Hopkins. Hopkins was one of a group of people who refused to vote. They're upset the $75 million won't be divided evenly, but rather on a points basis, depending on factors like how many years the person lived near the site. The city council must approve the settlement by September 5th. Then, if the Circuit Court approves it, payments will be made. Under the terms of the settlement, the city will pay $25 million by the end of the year, and the remaining money will be collected from the city's former insurance companies. Related articles:

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