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Garbage contract extended

The existing agreement between Scott Solid Waste and McCreary County will remain in effect for another 12 months after the Fiscal Court and SSW were able to come to an agreement during Thursday night’s meeting.

The deal prevented a possible emergency situation that would have forced the County to find a way to provide garbage service when the contract was set to expire on December 31.

As discussion opened on the issue, Judge Executive Doug Stephens informed the Fiscal Court that he had discussed a three-month extension of the contract with Carl Towns of Scott Solid Waste, that would give the County more time to lay out a plan to re-bid for services. That extension did come with some changes at the request of Towns.

Judge Stephens asked the Court what they wanted to do, and a long pause met his request before Magistrate Roger Phillips made a motion to enter in to discussion.

“It’s really bad that we are in this situation,” Phillips said. “This should have been done six months ago.”

With that said Magistrate Phillips questioned why the extension was only for three months and wondered why it couldn’t be longer – such as a year.

Towns stated he was willing to agree to three months after conferring with Judge Executive Stephens, but noted Scott Solid Waste lost money last year, and if he were to extend the contract for another 12 months, he would need to reduce the franchise fees he pays to the County from the garbage service.

The deal will not be exactly as it had been for the past five years as Towns said some aspects of the original contract would have to change to make the contract viable for his company economically.

Though Scott Solid Waste will continue to handle billing for the garbage service, something they wished to discontinue, they will no longer employ someone to man the Transfer Station in Stearns, instead pulling all administrative duties to Scott County.

Additionally the County will accept less in monthly franchise fees from SSW, reducing the percentage to five from six percent as it was in the past. According to the County budget, approximately $50,000 was estimated in revenues from the franchise fees this fiscal year. A one-percent reduction will result in an approximate $9,000 decrease annually.

The money received from the franchise fees go directly in to the Solid Waste fund and is used to partially fund salaries in the department and recycling programs. Additional sources of revenue for the Solid Waste fund include state and federal grants as well as revenue from recycling.

Magistrate Phillips continued negotiating, asking if Towns would honor the agreement in the contract concerning the annual PRIDE clean up and bulk item drop off.

The contract called for SSW to participate in the program, for one week in the spring and fall and donating four 30-yard dumpsters for the duration of the clean-up.

Towns stated he would agree to the new language of the contract, but said he expected some effort from the County in enforcing the existing garbage ordinance.

“I will agree to that, if I see some headway on your part,” he said.

With that, Towns presented a list of more than 40 households that were identified as not participating in garbage service, as technically mandated by the ordinance. The ordinance states garbage collection is “universal” in the County, and includes fines and penalties for non-compliance.

Towns said the addresses were from only one route, and hundreds more can be identified, but he was willing to give the County a chance to enforce its own law.

“All I want is you to show me you are going to do it,” he said. “If nobody is enforcing this ordinance, I’m not sure I am going to bid again.”

Judge Stephens informed Towns that the list would be given to the County Attorney for possible action.

Magistrate Phillips made a motion to accept the terms on the one-year extension, with Magistrate Jason Mann seconding. The motion passed 5-0.

Under the new agreement, the County is slated to take over operations at the Transfer Station by mid-January.

Judge Stephens said this week the plan was to see if existing personnel would be able to manage the facility, once it was determined what the duties would be and how many days it would be open each week.

“We will try to do it with what we have,” he said Monday. “We will have to see how it works out.”

McCreary County does employ a full time Community Service Coordinator and a Solid Waste Coordinator, who serves part-time.

Those two positions would most likely be the first to take over duties at the Transfer Station.

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