MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Middle Point Landfill has been causing a stink for years….literally.

“It’s terrible!” said Tara McKnight, who lives across from the landfill. “It’s something you don’t wanna smell every day.”

The landfill located in Murfreesboro reeks of trash. Neighbors, like McKnight, are afraid that smell will only get worse if Republic Services goes forward with a proposed plan to expand the landfill by 100 acres.

The project has been at the center of legal battle after legal battle.

Last year, a class action suit filed against the landfill operators accused them of not doing anything to mitigate the smell.

On Wednesday, the city asked for a first-look at construction plans, plus the right of refusal under legislation called the Jackson Law, which was passed back in 1989 and gives cities the opportunity of special zoning and first-right of refusal over new landfills.

“At the end of the day, this issue is about authority,” said Elizabeth Murphy, a land use specialist lawyer and consultant for the City of Murfreesboro. “The state legislature gave a special authority to the cities and the counties to have control over their own land use planning, and the city wants to exercise that authority that they were given 30 plus years ago.”

In a special called meeting, a state environmental board decided Murfreesboro will have to go to court to fight for that authority.

“The City of Murfreesboro has been planning for several years for Middle Point to close,” said Murphy. “They want to plan for the solid waste needs of the future. It’s hard to do that unless you know what you have control over and what you don’t have control over.”

Murphy, along with Murfreesboro city leaders, will now prepare to present their case in Chancery Court. No timeline has been set for that hearing.