Farragut Mayor Thomas R. Shull wrote the following Letter to the Editor in regard to the Fremont County Landfill. A meeting of critical importance for the Fremont County Landfill will be conducted at Riverton on Tuesday, May 8, at 7 p.m.
The working title for this Letter to the Editor is as follows:
Fremont County Landfill
TO SAVE OR NOT TO SAVE
I am the mayor of the city of Farragut. I am also the chairman of the board for the Fremont County Landfill, and have been on the landfill board for 39 and a half years.
This is my opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of all board members.
The landfill board is currently facing a decision on whether to continue operations as a landfill or close the landfill and lease the property out for use as transfer station by a private company.
The issue has come about because we received a proposal from Lewis Clark Recycling and Disposal LLC to lease the property. At about the same time, we are ready for our fourth phase of construction for a new cell.
I DO NOT believe we should close our landfill and lease the property out to some private company for their profit. I DO believe the residents of Fremont County should be educated about the possible outcomes of the decision to be made, and reasons we should walk away from the Lewis Clark proposal.
The cost estimate for the new cell we need to build is around $475,000. This is what we have had planned for several years, and it is not a surprise to us. Landfills periodically have to build and open new cells (locations to place waste), and each phase of cells enhances the previous ones.
Closing the landfilling operation is premature according to our landfill consulting firm.
We have had no issues with the DNR and we currently have no money problems.
Some members on the board seem to believe that our daily tonnage is going to change and we might not get enough waste brought in to pay for operations. They think Lewis Clark Recycling and Disposal, LLC will ensure Fremont County waste is taken somewhere other than our landfill, effectively putting us out of business. This has come about because Lewis Clark Recycling and Disposal, LLC purchased the old Mills County Landfill. This also gave them control of Montgomery County because Waste Systems had control of both of those landfills. Lewis Clark has now taken control of Shenandoah Sanitation of Page and Fremont Counties. They also have an interest in Transfer stations just over the Missouri and Nebraska state lines. They want to shut down our operation and make Fremont County Landfill a transfer station and we would be completely under their control.
Page County landfill has planned on remaining independent.
We have a 28E agreement with all cities and surrounding areas that states all trash generated in Fremont County goes to our landfill. So what should cause that to fail?
We have three employees. We purchase fuel from businesses within our county. We pay New Era Tax of Sidney monthly for accounting. We buy what we can within the County. Richardson Sanitation is an in-county business.
We provide a free place to haul trees and brush, which comes in very handy after a Midwest wind and thunderstorm.
The Fremont County Landfill Board is composed of the County Supervisors and Mayors or a Representative from each incorporated city. The cities include Farragut, Hamburg, Imogene, Randolph, Riverton, Sidney, Tabor, and Thurman. The Supervisors represent all other areas. Our board is an unpaid nonprofit group and our purpose is to make decisions for the benefit of our landfill and the county it serves. Lewis Clark Recycling and Disposal, LLC. has come here for their own financial gain.
The County board would no longer be able to make decisions in the day to day operations of our facility.
The buildings and earth moving equipment would be gone. The current planned phase construction would cease and closure of an unfinished project would begin.
We have $697,806 saved for post closure as of today. We save monthly for the planned closure and we are right on track.
The operations of our current landfilling methods would be gone forever. If we start the landfill closure process, the DNR will not let us come back and start over as a landfill if Lewis Clark Recycling and Disposal, LLC walks away.
Lewis Clark Recycling and Disposal, LLC. will have complete control.
The county will still be responsible for anything not covered in the contract or problems
associated with the previous fifty years of landfilling trash in our county.
To have a voice in the decision please come to a public hearing in Riverton at the Community Center on Tuesday May 8th. Let your landfill board representative know how you feel. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. If you are unable to attend or do not wish to speak at a public hearing, please send a card to your representative or to New Era Tax in Sidney.
I would sincerely like to keep one of the staples in our county in operation.
Mayor Thomas R. Shull