County modifies landfill cell construction plan

Published 10:18 am Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The county is changing its plan to construct a new fourth “cell” at the county’s landfill.

John Simmons, the manager of the Decatur County Solid Waste Facility, located on Mine Loop Road off U.S. Highway 27 South, spoke to the Decatur County Board of Commissioners, at the board’s Tuesday, Sept. 11, meeting. Simmons explained that the county’s initial plan for expansion would need to be modified.

Originally, the county had planned to construct a new “cell” — a large area suitable for disposing waste — directly east of the existing Cells 1, 2, and 3. However, Simmons noted that a portion of that planned cell contains a pit left over from previous mining activities.

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Simmons estimated that it would cost the county $250,000 to fill in that pit in order to prepare it to be a landfill cell. As an alternative, he recommended that the county continue to construct Cell 4 in a smaller configuration that would not include the area containing the pit.

“When you build Cell 5, you can [include the pit area] as well,” Simmons said. “This is delaying the cost for three to four years, when the county may be in better financial shape to take that $250,000 hit.”

The county also approved spending no more than $75,000 to Harbin Engineering, of Forsyth, Ga., to engineer and prepare the Cell 4 site for future construction.

In additional business, the county:

• Approved paying $18,000 to Harbin Engineering, to complete the closure of the county’s “old landfill” on State Route 309.

• Heard from County Administrator Gary Breedlove that approximately $1.03 million remains of an initial $3 million Tax Anticipation Note (TAN) loan. The county took out the loan earlier this year to meet immediate expenses; it will be repaid after property taxes come in at the end of 2012.

Breedlove said the county had to spend $201,000 from the loan to meet the final payroll in August. He said the county does not intend to let the TAN loan’s balance get any lower than $1 million, moving forward.