At Tuesday’s regular meeting, the Logan County fiscal court officially approved its host agreement with Waste Management for the landfill on Coopertown Road.
But it wasn’t without opposition.
Magistrates Russell Poore and Jack Crossley both voted against the host agreement. Barry Wright, Drexel Johnson, Jo Orange and judge/executive Logan Chick all voted for it.
Both Poore and Crossley have been against the host agreement, which will allow Waste Management to bring in more tons of trash per day into the landfill than in the past, because both their districts are most affected by it. The landfill sits in Poore’s district and the trucks come up from Nashville and travel through Crossley’s district on Hwy 431.
Crossley said that not only do the trucks hauling the garbage increase litter in his district, but they are also a hazard. He pointed out that a person was recently seriously hurt in an automobile accident that involved a truck carrying garbage to the landfill.
The fiscal court agreed to the general terms back in the summer, but the contract just recently was completed for officials signatures.
Orange asked county attorney Joe Ross, who was involved with the negotiations with Waste Management, if this was the best the county could hope for.
Ross said it was.
“This is just getting all that in writing that we already agreed to,” Ross said. “In order for us to fight this, it would involve lengthy, harmful litigation and would likely be costly for the county.”
If the county were to try and fight the agreement by passing legislation that would limit the amount of trash Waste Management could bring into Logan County, Ross said he believed Waste Management could get an injunction against the law.
The end result would be the same - with Waste Management bringing in extra trash while dragging the county law through the court system. The landfill would likely be filled up before the matter was resolved one way or another in the courts and the county would be on the hook for potentially expensive legal fees.
“Going forward, you will want to do something like that before a landfill gets here, instead of after,” Ross said.
Logan County will be getting a license fee of 5 percent of the total gross receipt for all solid waste accepted for disposal, plus an additional 1.25 percent of total gross receipts from all solid waste which originates outside Logan County.
That has been the same basic agreement the county has gotten before, but with the new host agreement, the county also gets a few new perks.
In the past, Waste Management had one “free dump day” per month, which allowed county residents to come and dump trash at the landfill free of charge. Under the new agreement, there will be two free dump days - one on the first Saturday of the month and one of the third Saturday of the month.
Also, Waste Management will put $0.02 per ton for all trash received at the landfill into a fund to be used for litter abatement in Logan County. This was to help offset the additional litter the trucks will cause as they move throughout the county.
That did not sit well with Crossley, however.
“They are giving us money to pick up their trash,” the south Logan magistrate said. “To me, that’s an insult.”
Ross pointed out that this was not something Waste Management had to agree to.
“I understand it doesn’t fix the problem, but it does offer some relief,” Ross said.
Also, Waste Management agreed to begin taking large animal carcasses for a disposal rate “to be determined by the landfill” with the limitations of getting 24 hours notice and not accepting more than three large animals per day.
The new host agreement will be in place until July 4, 2015 or until the facility permanently ceases accepting waste - whichever is first.