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Gallia, Jackson, Meigs & Vinton Solid Waste Management District

Policy Committee

Phone Conference Meeting

Minutes

3/26/20

 

The Policy Committee of the Gallia, Jackson, Meigs & Vinton Solid Waste Management District met Thursday, March 26, 2020 on a Phone Conference at 2:00 p.m.

Call to Order

Chairman, Harold Montgomery, called the meeting to order @ 2:03 p.m.  

Roll Call was taken with the following members attending:  Gallia County: Harold Montgomery, Tony Gallagher, Ken Patrick proxy for John McKean, Terri Walters, Randy Halley, Brett Boothe; Jackson County: Paul Haller (late for Roll Call), Roy Hatten proxy for 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, Gerald Stewart, Vicki Maxwell.  Jamie Zawila (RRS plan consultant) and Cindy Saltsman were also in attendance.

 

Old Business

 

Minutes of 3/12/15 were reviewed.  Greg Ervin made a motion to accept 3/12/15 minutes Tim Ihle seconded the motion.  Vote was done by Roll Call: Harold Montgomery, yes; Tony Gallagher, yes; Ken Patrick for John McKean, yes; Terri Walters, yes; Randy Halley, yes; Brett Boothe, yes; Roy Hatten for Randy Evans, yes; David Ramby for Kevin Aston, yes; Tom Woltz, yes; Greg Ervin, yes; Tim Ihle, yes; Steve Swatzel yes;  Jon Jacobs, yes; Tim Eberts, yes; Lori Simonton for Janelle McManis, yes; Gerald Stewart, yes; Vicki Maxwell, yes.  Motion passed with 17 yes votes. (Paul Haller was not present for vote)

 

New Business

 

Election of Officers

Tony Gallagher made a motion to accept Harold Montgomery as Chairman, Jon Jacobs seconded the motion, with no other nominations from the floor, motion was approved.    Terri Walters made a motion to accept Greg Ervin as Vice Chairman, Jon Jacobs seconded the motion, with no other nominations from the floor, motion was approved. Terri Walters recommended Jon Jacobs and Jon declined.  Tim Eberts suggested Janelle McManis for Secretary and Lori Simonton refused on Janelle’s behalf.  With there being no nominations for the Secretary position, Tim Ihle volunteered to take the Secretary position.  Tim Eberts seconded it, with no other nominations from the floor, Tim Ihle was accepted as Secretary.

 

Chairman, Harold Montgomery updated a few things for those who have not been in meeting discussions.  We have to provide a balanced budget for 15 years.  Jamie & Cindy have been working on this.  In order for us to be solvent, Jamie will be telling you of three scenarios.  One of them will be to reduce the Health & Sheriff Department contracts, another would be instituting a generation fee and the last raising the tier fees.  He said that whatever we do today, we have to send the plan out to the townships, villages/cities and boards of commissioners to get it ratified.  We have to think about the long-term effect that it will have on the tonnages coming into the landfill.  Are we going to do something that is not going to be acceptable for the landfill operators?  Something to think about.  Harold then turned the meeting over to Jamie Zawila.

 

Plan Budget Scenarios

Jamie stated that all three scenarios balance the budget in the 15-year plan.

Scenario 1: Keeps the current tier fees at $1/$2/$1, cut district programs by $150,000 a year, cut the Health & Sheriff Departments in 2021 and there are no raises for staff.  

Scenario 2: Increases the tier fees to $1.50/$2/$1.50, reduced the Health Departments to $14,000 for Meigs & Vinton, $16,000 for Gallia & Jackson, $10,000 each for the Sheriff Departments and Meigs County Pick-It-Up Program.  This has another decrease in 2030 for all contracts.  Harold Montgomery asked if this was based on the current tonnages coming in and said that we are not guaranteed that tonnage coming in and Jamie said that was correct.  Jamie said should there be an increase in the fees, Rumpke can divert the tonnage to another landfill and revenues would drop more.

Scenario 3: Leave tier fees at $1/$2/$1, add a generation fee of $2.50, maintain the Health & Sheriff Department contracts, in all these scenarios there is still no staff increase.

With these three scenarios we have to decide which one to move forward in this planning cycle.  Jamie said this fee is for in district residents and businesses only.  Brett Booth asked how the $2.50 generation fee would affect the residents and businesses?  Jamie said it was $2.50 per ton of in district only, not out of district.  If the tonnage is taken out of the district that landfill would still have to pay the generation fee back to the district.  Jamie said we need to look at the advantages and disadvantages.  Harold Montgomery was cut off and couldn’t get back in so Cindy called him on another phone and got him back in the meeting.  Harold Montgomery said these are based on the current tonnages coming in and please bear that in mind that we do not have a guarantee that they will stay there.  Cindy Saltsman updated those who were not here when Rumpke wanted the district to lower the tier fees the district did not agree to that. Rumpke pulled the tonnage out of Beech Hollow landfill.  We lost money then.  The district then lowered the fees from $2/$4/$2 to $1/$2/$1 and Rumpke brought some of the tonnage back in.  Cindy said that if we raise the tier fees that tonnage would be diverted someplace else.  Jamie explained again that the generation fee is generated on the tonnage that is generated in district and if tonnage is taken out of the district, the district would still get money for it.  Harold Montgomery asked how much the $2.50 generation fee would bring in and Jamie said $189,000.  Harold said right now we are operating on a $150,000 deficit.  Jamie said this is based on the current tonnages still coming in.  You can raise the generation fee to $5.00 as well but if you go above the $5.00 fee, she thought you have to get a 75% ratification, but she would double check that.  Tim Ihle asked if you add this fee will Rumpke be negative about it.  Jamie said yes, any fee raise you have, they are going to be negative about it, but they still have to pay it.  Tom Woltz said you have to look at the effect of raising the fees or adding a generation fee for the local municipalities and residents as well.  Cindy said that the raised fees will be passed along to their customers.  Tom said it effects more than just Rumpke.  Tim Eberts asked if you could raise the fees by a quarter and Jamie said yes you could do that.  She said that if you raise the fee to $1.50 you are still going to be able to give money to the Health & Sheriff departments but eventually, they would have to be lowered.  Harold Montgomery said we are not guaranteed the volume in our district and we are at the mercy of the landfill flows coming in.  Harold said we have been through this before and this is what we have right now that is generated in our district.  We went from $700,000 income down to around $300,000.  If you raise those fees, it would be passed on to the citizens of our district.  Harold said he is not pushing in one direction or the other, just passing information along.  Paul Haller wanted to know if we are going to continue the contracts or start dwindling them down as well.  Tim Ihle confirmed with Jamie that Scenario 1 was to eliminate the contracts starting in 2021.  Jamie said even at that budget at the end of the fifteen years of the plan you are drawing down that balance to around $150,000.  Tim Ihle said that the contracts in that scenario would be eliminated.  Paul Haller said that was his question, do we want to eliminate them or cut them in half?  They’ve depended on this money for so long, can we just cut them?  Tim Ihle asked if we could write in a generation fee or an increase later?  Jamie said you do have the option of implementing it later.  Jamie said she has seen other districts write it in at the third year of their planning.  We could do it in 2023.  It would be in there, if tonnage has increased in the landfill then you wouldn’t have to put that fee on.  Tim said that might be something for us to consider.  Harold Montgomery said that may give leverage if they (Rumpke) see we aren’t doing very well in three years we could institute the fee. Maybe they would increase tonnages going in the landfill and we wouldn’t have to add the fee.  Cindy Saltsman said she had talked with a Rumpke official and they said that as long as we have a million dollars and we continue those contracts; they are not going to be happy with raising those fees.  Tim Ihle said that we could project what may happen and figure it in right now.  We could continue as is for a little while longer.  He said maybe we could reduce the contracts and when we see the balance get reduced, we can have the opportunity to add the fee later.  He also asked if Jamie could present a couple more scenarios based on that.  Jamie said that she could do that but keep in mind that the generation fee would have to be higher than $2.50.  Tim Ihle also asked her if we could increase the tipping fees and generation fee at the same time?  Jamie said she could.  Tom Woltz asked if we could base our budget solely on a generation fee what would that amount be in comparison?  Jamie said @ $2.50, we are only pulling in about $180,000.  You would have to double that to bring in almost $400,000, which means that $5.00 would still not be enough.  He said this might help with Rumpke holding us hostage.  Harold Montgomery said we only get one bid for our drop-off recycling and we are still at the mercy of Rumpke.  Terri Walters said that we may be dreaming a little big with the current climate and global complications trying to do business with China.  She said that it was wishful thinking and the reality is we have only one company interested in handling our recycling and the recycling is down presently.  Terri asked Jamie if that was correct and Jamie said that is true.  With the current shortage of toilet paper, paper and cardboard is up right now though.  Cardboard is up to $75/ton.  Cindy Saltsman said we need to know what direction you want to go.  Last year the district spent over $200,000 on our drop-off recycling.  She said she was told that the cost was going to increase in 2021.  Cindy said the district is mandated to provide drop-off recycling to our residents.  She said this is where the bulk of the district budget is going, and we have to make sure that we have enough there for that.  Brett Boothe asked if the district had any other assets.  Cindy said the only thing we have is our building, which we lease from the City of Wellston.  Terri Walters said we have been talking about a generation fee down the road, tiered fees down the road.  Why can’t we put in if the district is more solvent down the road, we can re-implement those funds to the Sheriff and Health departments and Meigs Soil & Water.  Harold said that was a good option.  Steve Swatzel (Meigs County Health Department) said on top of your recycling you need enforcement and that comes from the Health & Sheriff Departments.  In our area (Meigs County) we bring in tons of tons of trash and tires here.  We use the money the district gives for staffing and the cost for enforcement.  He said if you cut them out your enforcement is going to drop off.  Ken Patrick (Gallia County Health Department) agreed with Steve on this.  Paul Haller said he agreed with that as well, however, are we funding the Health & Sheriff Departments with our dwindling funds?  Steve Swatzel said you are looking at scenarios to cut them out completely and the last two years you have reduced them.  Jon Jacobs asked if the enforcement and inspections was under the Ohio Revised Code.  Steve Swatzel said that puts the burdens on the Health departments and we do not have the staff and funding to do that and it wouldn’t be their top priority to cover it.  Jon Jacobs asked again if that was mandated buy the Ohio Revised Code.  Paul Haller said that was a good question and we may be mandated to do something for our Health & Sheriff departments.  Cindy Saltsman stated that she felt that was not what Jon Jacobs was asking.  She said we are not mandated as a district to fund them. Steve Swatzel said that other districts have enforcement people on their staff.  Cindy said yes, they do but not all districts provide funding to their Health & Sheriff departments.  Harold Montgomery said we need to get some clarification on some of these questions.  Cindy asked if we could meet again on April 16 @ 2:00 for another phone conference meeting.  Jamie said we could do a video conference, that way everyone could see all the scenarios.  Cindy said those of you that don’t have access to a computer, could go to individual commissioners’ offices.

 

Web page notice as legal notice of meetings  Cindy asked the Policy Committee to designate the districts webpage as legal notification of meetings.  Terri Walters made the motion to designate the district’s webpage as legal notice of Policy Committee meetings, Tony Gallagher seconded the motion.  All were in favor and motion was approved.

 

 

With a motion by Tim Ihle and a second by Tim Eberts, the Policy Committee adjourned at 3:11 p.m.