Gordon County

Representatives from Santek Environmental of Georgia were on hand last week at the latest meeting of the Gordon County Board of Commissioners to discuss a rate increase at Redbone Ridges Landfill.

While the County owns the landfill, Santek manages the landfill and is currently in a 40-year contract with the County. Santek has increased its rate at the landfill from a minimum charge of $7 to $21 as of June 1, 2018. The plan was to increase the rate again to $36.50 at the end of the year but the plan has been scrapped after public input.

“One of the concessions we are going to make; we actually posted this about six weeks ago at the landfill, is there will not be a $36.50 charge,” said Kenny Fuquea with Santek. “The $7 will go to a $21 charge and we are going to take away the $36.50 that would be in place Jan. 1, 2019. That’s a concession we’re making.”

According to Fuquea, pricing at the six convenience sites throughout Gordon County will not change, staying at the 12 cents per pound, with no increases expected in the near future.

Gordon County Administrator Jim Ledbetter told the Board that the original contract with Santek was effective Feb. 1, 2006 with a 20-year term. On Nov. 17, 2010, an amendment was added with an automatic renewal of a 20-year term that makes the expiration date 2046. That renewal was made in conjunction with Santek’s expansion of the landfill by way of increasing the slopes and capacity of the landfill, going vertical with expansion.

According to Ledbetter, Santek’s fees are governed by the contract and they have the right to establish their fees.

“So, I appreciate the concession they are making and sticking to a minimum charge of $21 instead of going with the $36.50 after the first of the year,” said Ledbetter.

“We’ve tried to do what is right for the Gordon County citizens,” said Fuquea.

Ledbetter also pointed out that, since January 2014, Santek has paid Gordon County approximately $1.7 million dollars in host fees. “So it’s important to know that we are making money from the landfill through Santek.”

Fuquea noted that all post-closure fees are paid back to the County as well.

According to Fuquea, Santek is just a couple of months away from starting a new cell construction at the landfill, which is planned to begin in early fall. “That’s an expense that we know we’ve got to take care of and it helps the life of the landfill,” said Fuquea. “We will tie on to the hill at the landfill, put a liner down and prepare the bottom for the project.”

The cost of the expansion of the new cell is projected to be between $1.2 and $1.6 million.

Fuquea also mentioned that Redbone Ridge Landfill also offers recycling at no charge to the public. “We take recycling at no charge but are actually having to pay for recycling to get it processed now,” said Fuquea. “We could previously sell it, but now we are actually having to pay a fee per ton to get that recycled. We are going to continue to do that because it’s the right thing to do.”

It was pointed out that for any questions concerning the landfill, including costs, the public could call the landfill at 706-629-5633.

Ledbetter gave an update on financial reporting and significant projects, which included:

-SPLOST and LOST revenue both increased 5.37 percent over the prior year for the month of April.

-The Board of Commissioners will vote on approval of the recommended budget for fiscal year 2018-2019 at the next meeting on June 19.

-Due to a lack of agreement, a deadline extension to Oct. 31, 2018 has been requested for House Bill 489-Service Delivery Strategy.

-The proposed Comprehensive Plan is under review at Department of Community Affairs. After DCA approval, the Board of Commissioners will need to adopt it by resolution.

-The walls and roof are about complete at the new animal shelter. LG Hausys has offered to donate the countertops for the new animal shelter.

-The county has collected approximately $2.9 million dollars for the engineering, design and construction of the new Health Department. The timeline on the SPLOST project shows construction beginning Jan. 2019 and occupancy in Jan. 2020.

-Georgia Department of Transportation has begun preliminary studies to identify cultural and/or historical assets that may be impacted by the replacement of two bridges over the Coosawattee River near Davis Road and Nesbitt Loop.

-Tax Assessment Notices were mailed on June 1, 2018 and the last day for citizen appeals will be July 16, 2018.

In consideration of new business, the Board approved the following:

-A CGI Communications 2018 County Video Program agreement which will provide five promotional videos for Gordon County at no charge.

-The Third Amendment to Ambulance Service Agreement with Adventist Health System, to provide ambulance service to Gordon County.

-Pilot Agreement for Aladdin Manufacturing for building renovation and equipment. Aladdin is investing $7 million total with 40 new jobs and 140 consolidated jobs being located here.

-Service Agreement with North Georgia Community Action Inc. for Section 5311 Transportation Operation van program.

-Memorandum of Agreement with the City of Adairsville and OWR, LLC for sanitary sewer service on Highway 41 South. The MOU now needs approval from the City of Adairsville. According to the MOU, OWR, LLC owns the land, known locally as the sunflower fields along Highway 41 just south of the airport, located outside of the city limits of Calhoun. LG Hausys is looking to expand in the area and will need sewer connection. According to the document, OWR, LLC and Gordon County requested the City of Calhoun to extend sewer service to the property with all costs paid by OWR or Gordon County without the requirement of annexation. Calhoun declined to provide the requested service, so the MOU with the City of Adairsville has been established. The MOU is not a commitment of funds by the City of Adairsville but is an agreement where OWR, LLC acknowledges the requirement of repayment in full of funds used by the City of Adairsville for completion of the project.

The MOU was approved and has been returned to the City of Adairsville for approval.

The next meeting of the Gordon County Board of Commissioners will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 19 at the Gordon County Administration Building in downtown Calhoun.