BOC to talk fees

Solid Waste Author­ity passes fee dis­cus­sion back to BOC.

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - BRYAN FAZIO bfazio@covnews.com

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.

Bryan Fazio | The Cov­ing­ton News

The New­ton County Solid Waste Author­ity met at the Ad­min­is­tra­tion Build­ing Thurs­day to dis­cuss con­ve­nience cen­ters, among other solid waste stream items.

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