Solid waste confusion at fiscal court meeting
by Franklin Clark, Reporter -- fclark@cadizrecord.com
Mar 17, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After a lengthy discussion in a packed house on Monday night, members of Trigg County’s Fiscal Court reaffirmed Trigg County Solid Waste Coordinator Jesse Thomas’s authority to grant county garbage permits as per the county’s ordinance. The court also reaffirmed Thomas’s authority to set a limit on the number of contractors.

However, the three-contractor limit that was enacted at the March 1 fiscal court meeting was not done correctly, as it would have required changes to the ordinance, said Trigg County Judge Executive Stan Humphries.

“Any change to the ordinance must go through the amendment process,” said Humphries. “Some of the action that we took may have been done out of sequence.”

Thomas has the authority to grant permits to any solid waste contractor that is qualified, the court, by a vote of 5–2, said. Trigg County Magistrates Shannon Knight and Kevin Terrell voted against Magistrate Larry Lawrence’s motion.

Knight said he opposed the motion because although he thinks Thomas does a great job, he also thinks the fiscal court should have more say in deciding who gets solid waste permits. Terrell voted against it because, as it was reaffirming what was written in the original 1990 ordinance, he didn’t see the utility of the motion.

Among those in attendance were representatives from Ingram, D and D, Freedom Waste and Madisonville Disposal, as was Bob Moore, attorney for Freedom Waste.

“Solid waste is serious business … and I give the fiscal court great leeway and latitude in what they do,” Moore said. “But when you start limiting things, when you create franchises or monopolies … that requires whole process under our Kentucky Constitution.”

Under a permit system, if a contractor is qualified and legal and abides by the necessary regulations, then they should be offered a permit, Moore added.

Thomas said that D and D Sanitation and Ingram are the two contractors with permits to collect residential garbage in the county, while Freedom Waste is contracted to collect commercial garbage in the county.

Additionally, Burkhead Scott has roll-offs for construction and demolition debris, Waste Path has three industrial customers in the county and Waste Path has one customer – the Trigg County Recycling Center, added Thomas.

The solid waste coordinator told magistrates that when Brett Chappell of Madisonville Disposal, who received the city’s garbage contract, first came to him, he thought Freedom Waste, whose contract with the city had not been renewed, would be leaving the county as well, however that was not the case.

Chappell said Madisonville Disposal was offering $14 a month for garbage pickup, which is lower than their cost in other counties, and lower than the rates given by D and D and Ingram, the two local companies.

Thomas said that garbage pickup isn’t mandatory in the county, and that roughly 85 percent of county residents have their garbage picked up.

Terrell later said that it seemed like the county wanted Madisonville Disposal to either leave the county or fix its prices.

The court also voted to table any discussion of modifications to the county’s alcohol ordinance until they know what will become of state legislation to make the City of Cadiz a fourth class city, which Humphries said would necessitate other changes to the ordinance.

Having passed the house, the bill is in the Senate, and if it is passed it will probably be signed in July, Humphries said.

“Changing an ordinance is a cumbersome process,” said Humphries, who said that because it is cumbersome, any necessary changes to the ordinance should be made at the same time.

Jeremy Ross of Arrowhead, who has been to the previous fiscal court meetings, wasn’t present on Monday night.

By a vote of 6 – 1, the court approved a new contract with Cindy Westerfield, who will manage the American Legion Pool this summer. She held the position last year. Terrell provided the sole no vote.

Humphries said the contract is essentially the same except the contract has been increased to $5,000 and has been extended to 20 weeks. The pool will open this year on May 1, added Humphries.

Knight said that more parties should be booked to help increase revenue. Both Knight and Humphries said they hope the weather will be more agreeable, as it was unseasonably cool and wet last summer.

Terrell said he voted against the pool contract because he hasn’t seen it yet, and also because he thinks that save for a very limited role, the county “shouldn’t be in the recreation business.”

In other business, the court unanimously approved the annual rural secondary rural road recommendations. Michael Oliver told the court that of the more than $1 million the county has for road improvements, it has used almost $400,000 for maintenance of 123 miles of road.

Oliver’s recommendations were that asphalt resurfacing be done to almost three miles of Ky. 274, also known as Rockcastle Road, to more than two miles of Ky. 126, also known as Cerulean Road, to more than one mils of Ky. 164, also known as Linton Road, and to about four and a half miles of Ky. 276, or Rocky Ridge Road. Oliver said this would cost the remaining $819,314.

The court also approved interfund transfers, voted for a rescue contract and paid the monthly bills.
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