Landfill 28E formation under discussion

CLINTON — Clinton County officials set a meeting for later this month to discuss a 28E agreement proposed by the Clinton County Area Solid Waste Agency.

The Clinton County Board of Supervisors on Monday set a meeting for 6 p.m. July 31 to discuss the Clinton County Area Solid Waste Agency's proposed 28E agreement. The Supervisors are planning to host the meeting in DeWitt. The meeting will include board members and representatives from municipalities involved in the proposed 28E agreement. The proposed agreement will first need to be approved by the Clinton County Board of Supervisors and then by the municipalities.

Clinton County Supervisor Shawn Hamerlinck said the main objective of the agreement is to eliminate the head tax. The proposed agreement's second main goal is the elimination of the CCASWA board's weighted voting system.

"The real big question for the county Board of Supervisors is in relation to the closure/post-closure funds," Hamerlinck said. "Of the $215,000 that would have to come from the county to go into that account each year in order to make sure we hit the goals that have been set for us by the Department of Natural Resources, which is the $3.6 million closure/post-closure account. In order for this to happen, the funds would no longer come from the head tax but they would come from the levy which would be distributed amongst the entire county."

Supervisor Tom Determann voiced support for shifting from the head tax to levying all residents. He supported the updated agreement and it addressing issues with the weighted vote.

Supervisor Dan Srp requested data be prepared about the impact on agricultural owners.

"It's really not only shifting to the commercial industrial properties but also to the agricultural properties... so I think it's important that we include that impact in our consideration as well and be prepared to present that information during our public meeting," Srp said.

Clinton County Attorney Mike Wolf said he and CCASWA attorney John Peavey want an outside agency to review the agreement. Wolf suggested the county look at the outside firm being an accounting firm.

"We would like to request a review by an accounting firm to just make sure that all of our numbers, I guess before we launch into it, work and these financing assumptions will be viable," Wolf said.

Wolf also stated the county is using the levy for closure costs, with the remaining costs covered by tipping fees. He asked whether the CCASWA had come up with another funding mechanism for a backup in case the tipping fees were not sufficient.

"The group is considering the head tax on recycling as how we would solve that problem," Hamerlinck said.

Clinton City Administrator Matt Brooke said the head tax is for cell closure and cell opening only and not for operating the landfill. He added the levy would only be used for the closing of cells. The remaining funds in the head tax will be moved over to build cells. Brooke said the difference of operations will be made up in tipping fees for recycling.