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Gallia, Jackson, Meigs & Vinton Solid Waste Management District

Policy Committee

Phone Conference Meeting

Minutes

4/16/20

 

The Policy Committee of the Gallia, Jackson, Meigs & Vinton Solid Waste Management District met Thursday, April, 16, 2020 on a Webinar/Phone Conference at 2:00 p.m.

Call to Order

Chairman, Harold Montgomery, called the meeting to order @ 2:07 p.m.  

Roll Call was taken with the following members attending:  Gallia County: Harold Montgomery, Tony Gallagher, John McKean, Terri Walters, Brett Boothe; Jackson County: Paul Haller, Randy Evans, Greg Ervin, David Ramby proxy for Kevin Aston, Tom Woltz; Meigs County: Tim Ihle, Jon Jacobs, Steve Swatzel; Vinton County: Tim Eberts, Lori Simonton proxy for Janelle McManis, Vicki Maxwell.  Jamie Zawila (RRS plan consultant) and Cindy Saltsman were also in attendance.

 

Old Business

 

Minutes of 3/26/20 were reviewed. Tony Gallagher made a motion to accept 3/26/20 minutes Jon Jacobs seconded the motion. All were in favor, motion approved.

 

New Business

 

Chairman, Harold Montgomery said our objective is to be financially stable for 15 years. Harold said we have to make a difficult decision today.  We must send out this Plan for all municipalities, townships and commissioners to approve with a 60% ratification.  Jamie Zawila said that was correct but if you add a generation fee over $5.00 it must be a 75% ratification. Harold said that if we do not get our Plan ratified, the EPA will write it for us. If we do not have the revenue to support it, EPA can place a property tax on district residents to support that solid waste Plan, which is not a good thing. Hopefully, we can take Jamie’s advice and her lead on which scenario to go by.

Jamie described the five scenarios that are up for discussion. Those being: Scenario # 1:  Leaving the tier fees at $1/$2/$1 and cutting the Health and Sheriff departments beginning in 2021; Scenario # 2: Raising the tier fees to $1.50/$2/$1.50, cutting solid waste programs in half, lowering the Health Departments to $20,000 annually and the Sheriff Departments $40,000 annually.  Cindy asked if the Sheriff Departments were $10,000 each and Jamie said that is correct. In 2024 both the Health and Sheriff Departments would be eliminated; Scenario # 3: Leaving the tier fees at $1/$2/$1, cutting the solid waste programs in half, add a generation fee of $2.50 in 2021, maintain the Health & Sheriff Department contracts @ $152,000 annually; Scenario #4: Add a generation fee of $3.25 in 2025 and raising the tier fees in 2030 to $1.25/$2/$1.25 and keeping Health & Sheriff Departments at $152,000 annually; Scenario # 5: This scenario is placed without having any out-of-district tonnages coming into the landfill. Add a generation fee of $7 in 2023 and again raising the generation fee to $9 in 2030 and keeping Health & Sheriff Departments at $152,000 annually. Harold Montgomery asked if there were tier fees in scenario # 5 or is it just a generation fee. Jamie said there is still a tier fee in this one, but there is no out-of-district tonnages coming in on this scenario.  Cindy stated that the reason for this scenario was if Rumpke pulled the tonnages out of the landfill, then the district would not have to depend on them.

Lori Simonton had a couple questions to ask for Janelle McManis. She asked why the expenses in 2020 were $100,000 more than in 2019. Cindy stated that the 2019 totals were the actual expense for that year and for 2020, that amount is what was budgeted. The second question: “With the fund cuts to the health departments should there have been a plan revision submitted?”. Cindy said that the current Plan states that funding is based on if funds are available. Jamie showed the ten allowable uses that the district may spend under, and those contracts are there but we are not required to have them. Most of the district expenses fall under Plan Implementation line item 2. Tim Ihle asked how flexible can we be with scenario # 4? Can we not start a generation fee in 2025 and do the tier fee increase instead? Jamie said it is not that easy. You have to do it in two ways.  The first is to write it in and it would be at our discretion to start it then or you would have to do another ratification of the change.  Paul Haller spoke and said the Jackson County Commissioners like scenario 3 & 4 but thought #3 would give us a better longevity. Tim Ihle said he was concerned about putting a generation fee on in 2021 and having the problem with Rumpke. Tim wanted to know about using up more of our reserves before adding a generation fee. Paul said he was leaning towards #3 and Tim said he was leaning towards #4. Harold asked about the $2/out-of-district fee in scenario #4 & #5. Is that the fee that would change on us? Is that based on the present tonnages coming in? Jamie said that is correct. Harold said that out-of-district tonnage is what could drastically change. Harold said it appears that we are looking at two scenarios #3 & #4. Is that where the group is going? Terri Walters stated that in her time with the district and the last Plan update we had the same dilemma though not as drastic. We had the contract with Rumpke which is now expired. Terri said the health departments and Meigs Soil & Water do a great job however, it is crunch time and Terri said she believed they should look at Scenario #1. It was good helping them out when we had funds, but I do not believe we can sustain doing that now. Tim Ihle said he wanted to see if we could go further down later in the Plan to add the increases until we couldn’t do them any longer.  Terri Walters said she felt we have kicked the can as far as we can kick it. Terri said the revenue we are getting is not assured. She feels it is time to bite the bullet and cut them now. Brett Booth stated that he had a concern with adding a generation fee that it would be adding another fee to the constituents in the district. Terri said she agreed with Brett and didn’t think adding a generation fee was the way to go.  She feels that it would be difficult to get ratified.  Most of the townships run on a shoestring budget anyway. Terri said if we see an increase in the tonnages like we used to have she has no problem giving the money to the departments. We have avoided this for a long them and she feels now is the time to cut them. Harold asked if we could do a Roll Call vote on all five scenarios. If there is not a majority then the bottom two will be dropped and we will continue until we have a majority. Tony Gallagher made a motion to do a Roll Call vote on which scenario each person wants to have, with the bottom two dropped for the next vote until we have a majority. Jon Jacobs seconded the motion. All were in Favor.

1st Vote (all 5 scenarios) was done by Roll Call: Harold Montgomery, #1; Tony Gallagher, #1; John McKean, #3; Terri Walters, #1; Brett Boothe, #1; Paul Haller, #3; Randy Evans, #2; David Ramby for Kevin Aston, #2; Tom Woltz, #2; Greg Ervin, #3; Tim Ihle, #4; Steve Swatzel, #3;  Jon Jacobs, #3; Tim Eberts, #1; Lori Simonton for Janelle McManis, #3; Vicki Maxwell, #1.  Cindy said we have 6 votes for Scenario #1, 6 votes for Scenario #3, 3 votes for Scenario # 2 and 1 vote for Scenario # 4. Harold said we would eliminate #4 & #5. Jamie explained the Scenario’s again: Scenario # 1:  Leaving the tier fees at $1/$2/$1, cutting the solid waste programs in half, from $10,000 to $5,000 and cutting the Health and Sheriff departments beginning in 2021. Keep in mind that this is based on 2019 revenue coming in and that may or may not change. If there are decreases that will drastically cut the balance earlier; Scenario # 2: Raising the tier fees to $1.50/$2/$1.50, cutting solid waste programs in half, lowering the Health Departments: $14,000 to Meigs & Vinton, $16,000 to Gallia & Jackson and the Sheriff Departments/Meigs County Soil & Water $40,000 annually at $10,000 each. In 2024 all the contracts will be eliminated. Scenario #3: Leaving the tier fees at $1/$2/$1, cutting the solid waste programs in half, add a generation fee of $2.50 in 2021, maintain the Health & Sheriff Department contracts @ current level. Harold asked what that amount was, and Cindy said it is $20,000 each for the Sheriff Departments, Meigs Soil & Water, Gallia & Jackson Health Departments and $16,000 each to Meigs & Vinton Health Departments. Terri Walters asked if the addition of this generation fee was a 75% ratification and Jamie said no it was not, that ratification percent is anything over $5. Terri said Jamie is the person who is current on trends and the person we are paying in guiding us in this process. What scenario, with your experience, would she recommend to the Policy Committee. First and foremost, Jamie said she would not like to see the funding go away on the solid waste programs. Jamie said she would lean towards Scenario #1 but she would put back in the money for the solid waste programs and throw in a fee increase possibly in 2031. Terri asked her if that was a tier fee increase or a generation fee and Jamie said a generation fee. Harold asked Jamie how much she wanted to put back into the solid waste programs and Jamie said $10,000. Terri said the people that a generation fee most affects are the residents of the district. That is why she hesitates to add a generation fee because the commissioners, trustees, and municipalities are the ones that have to pass this. Jamie agreed with Terri and said that would be the reason for putting the increase way out further in the planning period. Jamie said maybe it would not be needed then. We have no control over the tonnages going into a privately owned landfill. Terri said the tonnages are passing the Beech Hollow landfill as we speak and going into the Pike County Landfill. Jamie said the only thing you would have control over is adding a generation fee. With that, the district could possibly hold HHW event and an electronics event. Cindy said she has no money now to hold HHW/electronic events, even with the $10,000. Cindy said unfortunately, we lost the City of Jackson curbside program this week. She said she had budgeted for a second site in Jackson in 2020 if this was to happen. That second site will be available to the residents on Monday. Cindy said the district drop-off cost will be increasing in 2021. She was hoping to have the amount by this meeting but unfortunately it was not available yet. Cindy said we have planned in this budget for a 3% increase for the next three years and then it goes up to 5%. Cindy said this is what she has to provide for the residents.  Harold said at least the fuel cost is down right now. Harold asked Jamie what Scenario #1 would look like if we add a generation fee possibly in 2030. Brett Booth asked Jamie if the budget numbers were conservative. Jamie said they were. The drop-off numbers are the ones she is concerned about. Our neighbors at Ross, Pickaway received a quote of $100,000 more on their drop-off program. Paul Haller stated that per Jamie we would be re-evaluating in 2025. Why can’t we in 2025 re-evaluate adding the generation fee to scenario # 2 then. He said he has a concern at the county level for the departments stopping cold turkey and he is not sold on #1. Harold said our main objective here is to support the solid waste district in its programs. We have been able in the past to supplement the health and sheriff departments. Our main concern is to try to have the lowest possible cost to our constituents and satisfy what EPA has us to do as a solid waste district. Steve Swatzel commented and said the tier fees have not changed in twenty years. He said he was leaning toward a tier fee increase saying that it would be a lower cost for the constituents. Cindy stated that the fees were lowered in the beginning of 2012. Terri Walters said that if we raise the fees again, we could see a similar scenario that happened in 2011. Steve said the out of district fees at that time were at $4.00. Terri said yes but we were under contract with them to give half of it back to them. Harold said that EPA did not allow us to continue that contract with them. Terri said it was actually $1/$2/$1 with the deal that the previous director made with them.  Harold stated that when Rumpke wanted the district to lower the fees and we didn’t, they took tonnages out of Beech and also stopped doing business with the local vendors. Steve asked if they would be affected by the increase in tier fees. Terri said the out of district fee stays the same at $2.00 and only the in district/out of state would be affected by the increase in fees. Most of Rumpke’s money comes from the second-tier fee. Steve said we are not changing it, it stays at $2.00.  Harold said if you add a generation fee the local constituents would be paying more. Paul said that was #3 scenario not #2. Harold said he thought you were talking about adding a gen fee to #2. Paul said we could vote on that. Terri said another thing we need to consider is that Rumpke handles the waste pick-up in the district, but they also control the recycling. We tried very hard to get another company to bid on it but there were none. Rumpke picks up the trash and the recycling. Harold wanted to know if they were changing scenario #2 by adding a gen fee in 2025. Randy Evans stated that he had to leave the meeting, but he was in support of scenario #2. Cindy wanted to clarify Scenario #2: Raising the tier fees for in district and out of state from $1 to $1.50, lowering the contracts in 2021 and eliminating all of them in 2024. Harold said that was correct. Cindy asked Paul if he wanted to add a gen fee to #2. Paul said no since we are re-doing the plan in 2025 we could do it then. Paul said that at this time I would leave #2 as written. Cindy stated that you are raising the fee in this scenario right off the bat in 2021 and Rumpke is not going to be happy with that. Harold said we were not raising the out of district fee that it was staying the same. Cindy said that was correct, but you are still raising the fees on the in district and the out of state and they have to pay that as well. Harold asked if there was any discussion on #3. Lori Simonton asked if the health and sheriff departments are cut, how will the health complaints be handled and who will be doing them. Cindy said she thought the health departments would be doing them. Jamie said that was correct if they are on the approved list. If they are not on the approved list, then EPA would do them. David Ramby stated that when they get open burning air pollution complaints, they send them to OEPA. He said they could send a letter to OEPA stating that they did not want to be an approved solid waste district anymore and the complaints would be sent to OEPA. David said there is a law that we have to abate all nuisances. Terri Walters asked Cindy if she had numbers for complaints from last year regarding the nuisance complaints and do you still have problems getting reports from the sheriff departments. Cindy stated the health departments (all 4 combined) had 172 nuisances and 84 were abated. Cindy said Jackson Sheriff Department & Meigs Soil & Waters were the only reports she has received so far this year. In 2019, the Sheriff Departments reported 72 complaints and 72 dumps cleaned.  Terri asked if that was for all four counties and Cindy said yes. There was someone ill in Gallia County and we did not receive reports for them for most of the year. Steve Swatzel wanted to clarify that the Meigs County Sheriff does not receive the money, but Meigs Soil & Water did. He stated that they hit every road in the county last year picking up trash and tires. Cindy said they cleaned up 269 miles of roadway, took in 169 tires. 689 bags of trash and cleaned 15 dumps in Meigs County. Cindy said all four counties are out there cleaning up our roadways. Tim Eberts wanted clarification of what David Ramby said regarding sending a letter to EPA and their health departments not doing the complaints. Harold said that have that option. David Ramby said if you do that then the State would have control of local affairs.

Harold clarified the following scenario’s to be voted on: Scenario #1: $1/$2/$1 tier fees (no increase) $5,900 solid waste programs and no funding to Health or Sheriff Departments; Scenario #2: $1.50/$2/$1.50 tier fee, Gallia & Jackson Health departments get $16,000 and Meigs & Vinton health Departments get $14,000, The Sheriff Departments/Meigs Soil  & Water get $40,000 at $10,000 each. In 2025 the contracts are eliminated. Brett Booth asked if there was a generation fee on this. The consensus was we could do that when we re-visit the plan update in 2025 if needed; Scenario #3:  Keep $1/$2/$1 tier fees and add a $2.50 generation fee in 2021, the Health Departments would get $72,000 and the Sheriff Departments would get $80,000.  Cindy said she had a problem with this scenario. If you are going to leave the Health & Sheriff Departments at $152,000 then she wanted the $10,000 put back in for her programs. Harold asked Jamie if we would still balance if you raised the solid waste programs. Cindy said everybody is getting what they want in this scenario and her focus was on getting funding for her programs for the solid waste district. Cindy said she was sorry if that upsets people but if your going to give money to them then she wants money as well. David Ramby said he liked scenario #2 but wanted a more gradual decline than cutting it completely off in 2024.  Jamie said she put in the $10,000 for solid waste programs and #3 balances with that. Paul Haller wanted a clarification on #3. He asked if there was a generation fee on this one.  Jamie said yes, a $2.50 generation fee starting in 2021 and leaving the tier fees at $1/$2/$1.

2nd Vote (Scenarios # 1, 2 & 3) was done by Roll Call: Harold Montgomery, #1; Tony Gallagher, #1; John McKean, #3; Terri Walters, #1; Brett Boothe, #1; Paul Haller, #2; David Ramby for Kevin Aston, #2; Tom Woltz, #2; Greg Ervin, #3; Tim Ihle, #1; Steve Swatzel, #3; Jon Jacobs, #3; Tim Eberts, #2; Lori Simonton for Janelle McManis, #3; Vicki Maxwell, #2.  Cindy said we have 5 votes for Scenario #1, 5 votes for Scenario #3, 5 votes for Scenario # 2.

Paul Haller asked Jamie if we lowered the tier fees in #2 Scenario from $1.50/$2/$1.50 to $1.25/$2/$1/25 if we would balance and Jamie said yes. Paul proposed this change for #2 in the next round of voting.

3rd Vote (Scenarios # 1, 2 & 3) was done by Roll Call: Harold Montgomery, #1; Tony Gallagher, #1; John McKean, #3; Terri Walters, #1; Brett Boothe, #1; Paul Haller, #2; David Ramby for Kevin Aston, #2; Tom Woltz, #2; Greg Ervin, #2; Tim Ihle, #1; Steve Swatzel, #3;  Jon Jacobs, #3; Tim Eberts, #2; Lori Simonton for Janelle McManis, #3; Vicki Maxwell, #2.  Cindy said we have 5 votes for Scenario #1, 4 votes for Scenario #3, 6 votes for Scenario # 2. Scenario # 3 was eliminated.

4th Vote (Scenario # 1 & 2) was done by Roll Call: Harold Montgomery, #1; Tony Gallagher, #1; John McKean, #2; Terri Walters, #1; Brett Boothe, #1; Paul Haller, #2; David Ramby for Kevin Aston, #2; Tom Woltz, #2; Greg Ervin, #2; Tim Ihle, #1; Steve Swatzel, #2;  Jon Jacobs, #2; Tim Eberts, #2; Lori Simonton for Janelle McManis, #2; Vicki Maxwell, #2.  Cindy said we have 5 votes for Scenario #1, 10 votes for Scenario #2. Harold said Scenario #2 had the majority vote. Jamie said we will send the draft plan to EPA and revisit the plan after their comments.

 

 

With a motion by Tim Ihle and a second by Tim Eberts, the Policy Committee adjourned at 3:51 p.m.