BOC to talk fees
Solid Waste Authority passes fee discussion back to BOC.
The Newton County Solid Waste Authority (SWA) did not make a decision on fees associated with the county’s convenience centers at a special called meeting Thursday night but did move on a related action.
The authority’s board of directors, minus the absent Lanier Sims and Sharon Henderson, unanimously approved a motion to ask Harbin Engineering to perform a life cycle cost study concerning Newton County’s solid waste.
SWA Chair Wayne Haynie asked that a rate study Performa discussion be added to the agenda, and later in the meting, put the idea of using Harbin to bring forward ideas on a rate to charge the authority’s customers.
The authority was asked to discuss a fee schedule of the county’s 11 convenience center by the Newton County Board of Commissioners (BOC) at the June 21 BOC meeting. However, some of the SWA’s members were reluctant to levee a fee without have more information on things such as rate structures and uses of the centers.
The BOC will now be responsible for coming up with a fee in order to help balance the county’s budget for fiscal year 2017. In order to balance, pass and conduct two public hearings on the budget, the BOC must act quickly to bring in more revenue or spend less, and will most likely revisit conve- nience center fees during its July 19 meeting.
The SWA, which will take over all decisions concerning the county’s solid waste stream, will look toward its long-term decision on the convenience centers and cost of tipping fees after hearing from Harbin, the county’s engineer of record.
“The answer to the rate-slash-fee is kind of right in front of us; What I mean by that is we have access to one of about five extremely qualified landfill engineers in the state -- that is Harbin,” Haynie said. “In 30 days they could have a complete life cycle rate study Performa and can bring us a recommendation of fees and or other charges that we need to collect in order to make all this work.
“We cannot go to our board of commissioners and approve, condone or concur with any off-the-hip-shot of what amount to charge. It is just not going to work,” he said. “We cannot do that.”
Harbin Engineering is the county’s engineer of record concerning its landfill, and is already on contract performing several tasks for Newton County.
Haynie said Harbin Engineering can perform the life cycle rate study for $15,000 to $20,000, which would be billed as part of the firm’s current contract with Newton County.
“We can review it and have done in 30 days,” Haynie said.
Ronnie Johnston made the motion to ask Harbin Engineering perform the life cycle rate study, and Phillip Wise seconded the motion.
The SWA also will be reviewing six requests for information/proposals (RFI/P) that came in to the county from various firms. The RFI/Ps will offer recommendations on the best way to go forward with the county’s landfill and waste operations.
The RFI/P’s will be looked over by Haynie, Sims and Johnston concurrent with Harbin’s life cycle rate study.
The Newton County Solid Waste Authority met at the Administration Building Thursday to discuss convenience centers, among other solid waste stream items.