Dougherty Commission OKs out-of-county solid waste at landfill

Reversal should bring more income to solid waste enterprise fund

The Dougherty County Commission voted Monday at its work session to accept out-of-county solid waste at the county’s landfill. (File photo)

The Dougherty County Commission voted Monday at its work session to accept out-of-county solid waste at the county’s landfill. (File photo)

ALBANY — The Dougherty County Commission voted Monday to accept out-of-county solid waste at the county landfill as a means of bringing in more revenue to its enterprise fund.

County officials said the timing was right to reverse the practice of limiting solid waste at the landfill to in-county customers.

“Tonnage has gone down at the landfill over the last several years,” County Administrator Richard Crowdis said. “A number of industries have left town, and a lot of industries are going now to no waste through recycling. We feel the time is right to go ahead and recommend that you accept out-of-county waste. It will not increase our expenses, and it will help sustain us for the future.”

Solid Waste Director Scott Addison said the county already has some potential customers that have inquired about bringing solid waste to the landfill.

“Even with the added waste being brought in from outside the county, I don’t think you’ll see our tonnage double or such a significant increase that it would create problems for us,” Addison said. “The solid waste industry is very competitive, and we have to be competitive. We have some people who’ve expressed interest in our facility, but I’d rather not say who at this time.”

Addison said the county’s current capacity at the landfill is “in the 45-year range.”

The county’s Public Works Committee met before Monday’s commission meeting to discuss the proposed landfill change, and District 2 Commissioner John Hayes, who chairs that group, said the committee unanimously supported the proposal.

“As you know, we recently approved acceptance of solid waste from our neighbors in Lee County,” Hayes said. “The Public Works Committee met this morning and considered all the implications of accepting waste from other neighboring communities, and we support that proposal.”

Commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard lauded the decision.

“I applaud staff and the Public Works Committee for their work on this proposal,” Sinyard said. “Intergovernmental agreements across county lines will, I believe, be an important part of our future.”

Also at Monday’s meeting, the Commission:

— Approved $135,000 in Solid Waste Enterprise Capital Outlay funding for construction of two solidification pits at the landfill;

— Appointed Leonard Minter to the ASPIRE Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Services board;

— OK’d acceptance of a $270,500 state Juvenile Justice Incentive Grant and a $29,500 federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Grant for Dougherty County Juvenile Court;

— Signed off on a 2014 millage rate that will signify a 0.73 percent tax increase in the countywide digest and a 2.49 percent increase in the county’s special services district digest, which reflects an increase in the county’s overall tax digest, and;

— Approved applications of special approval for building additions at Berachah Fellowship Church (for a 7,200-square-foot multipurpose building) and Mt. Zion No. 2 Missionary Baptist Church (for an 8,800-square-foot multipurpose room).