ALBANY, Ga. -- After seeing revenue in Dougherty County's Solid Waste Enterprise Fund drop by 21 percent last year and having tonnage at the county landfill drop by 20 percent, county commissioners determined Wednesday that action must be taken immediately to reverse that trend.
"I think we were all working on the budget so hard we didn't realize we were in this situation with the landfill," District 6 Commissioner and Public Works Committee Chairman Jack Stone said at Wednesday's Dougherty County Commission meeting. "We lost $30,000 last year, and we cannot run the landfill like that. There's got to be some changes made.
"That landfill is a business, and it has to be run like a business."
County Solid Waste Director Scott Addison said one of the primary concerns is competition for collection of construction and demolition waste.
"Contractors know what our tipping fees are, and they're able to negotiate lower fees knowing ours aren't going to change," Addison said. "If we're allowed to negotiate those fees, I think we'd have an opportunity to increase the amount of C&D waste we receive."
Stone said he's preparing to ask the full commission to approve that request and others in an effort to reverse the solid waste revenue decline.
"The Public Works Committee will ask this board to allow the landfill to negotiate, with the approval of (county administrator) Richard Crowdis, to get more C&D without coming before us," Stone said. "If the man down the road knows (the county) can't come off their price a dime, he's going to lower his cost by 50 cents and get the business.
"Our folks are sitting out there with their hands tied, and we need to bring them into the real world."
Prior to the landfill discussion, the commission voted 4-3 to reappoint incumbent Chris Hatcher to the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission for a two-year term. Albany Technical College President Anthony Parker had also expressed interest in the position.
"These are the best two (opposing) candidates we've ever had for this position," Chairman Jeff Sinyard said after the vote.