The Marshall County Fiscal Court will convene in a special-called meeting during today's Marshall County Refuse/109 Board meeting where representatives from WastePath Sanitary Landfill will also be in attendance hoping to resolve the host agreement which has been 18 months in the making. The 109 Board and WastePath both approved and signed off in Aug. on a host agreement they believed would garner the support of the fiscal court after meeting all of Judge-Executive Kevin Neal's requests, but it fell flat during last week's fiscal court meeting with a 2-2 vote.
Neal had two qualms: a section of the agreement was cut, 3.03, which states beginning on the effective date of the agreement, the refuse district will deliver all solid waste collected by the refuse district to the landfill for disposal. He also noted the agreement requires WastePath Sanitary Landfill pay the county a host fee of 5.25% of gross receipts of the landfill for all solid waste originating outside the county; he said statute supports the county charging 6.25% which would result in an estimated additional $30,000 annually for the county and he "wasn't willing to leave that on the table."
Those dollars, Neal said, could be used to fund statutory requirements for cleanup and hazmat response to the landfill in case of emergency, but he said those funds are also needed for road improvements. He asked Deputy-Judge Executive Brad Warning to present a number of photos demonstrating the deteriorating condition of McFarlan Road near Calvert City, one which he said is frequently used by the landfill's large equipment. Repairing that road is going to be costly, an estimated $1.2-1.5 million, he said.
"We've got to do something about our road systems," he said. "We want people to move into our area and a good road is just a start to that."
Commissioner Monti Collins asked if there was a way to work out the details with 109 Board and WastePath without going through another two or three months of back-and-forth.
"I'm so ready to put this thing to bed," he added.
Commissioner Kevin Spraggs said he supported the agreement the way it was signed by the 109 Board and WastePath, and noted he attended the Aug. board meeting when the 109 Board voted unanimously in favor of the agreement.
"I know they've worked on it tirelessly for a long time and it's costing us several thousand for every day that goes by that we don't have an agreement," he added.
Spraggs also addressed the concern about section 3.03 of the agreement, saying that section was cut because the 109 Board felt it tied their hands when they had waste to deposit but couldn't get to the landfill due to flooding. He pointed toward section 3.02 which addresses those concerns by stating that if WastePath isn't able to accept waste for any reason, they would be responsible for the cost of delivering it elsewhere in times of overcapacity.
Spraggs made a motion to accept the host agreement as it was presented and signed by the 109 Board and WastePath. Collins said he wanted to see section 3.03 put back in and then he would agree to it, so Spraggs amended his motion to add it back in and garnered a second from Collins. But the vote died when both Neal and Commissioner Justin Lamb voted against.
At that point, County Attorney Jason Darnall said the only way to resolve the issue is through a joint meeting with all three parties; otherwise, he said, "it will become a ping-pong match that never ends."
The fiscal court members agreed to meet during the regular 109 Board meeting, which begins at 9 a.m. today.
In other business:
• Financial advisor Bryan Skinner with Ross, Sinclaire & Associates, LLC of Lexington told the fiscal court members interest rates have been on a steady decline for the past few months and are very close to a historic low, saying if they wanted to issue bonds to borrow money, "now makes sense." He said he was aware the county had other projects they were interested in beginning aside from the $3.5 million recently approved by the Dept. of Local Government (DLG) to expand water and sewer to the Southwest One Industrial Park. He noted during a recent overview of the county's assets, fiscal court members were told the county could be approved for up to $50 million in debt service. Neal said there were several projects he would like to see covered which would result in borrowing an additional $7 million: a $1 million matching grant opportunity for Jonathan Creek Water District, $2.5 million for the new 911 center's upfit and the remainder for a sewer project to expand the lines under the interstate in Draffenville. Skinner advised they request $7.3 million, with the extra to help cover fees. Collins made a motion to move forward with seeking DLG's approval of borrowing no more than $7.3 million, aside from the $3.5 million already approved; Lamb seconded the motion and the vote in favor was unanimous. Collins also told Neal he would like to see a special-called meeting, if the county is approved the borrowing power, to specifically discuss the details of each of the three projects mentioned for the $7.3 million.
• Collins asked for an amendment to the minutes from the Aug. 26 special-called meeting during which the majority passed and approved the $1.9 million budget for 911 as well as the $7 monthly fee on electric bills. He said when the new budget passed, that was conditional upon the collection of fees and until the fees are collected, 911 is to remain operating under the same current budget. Neal said that was correct and Collins said that needed to be clearer in the minutes.
• The fiscal court members approved a contract with Mauell in the amount of $5,000 for E-911 consulting services at the recommendation of Neal. Neal said they are a German company in the business of control center design and would serve as a project manager charged with handling technical information about the design with the engineers and architects for the new 911 facility currently under construction in Draffenville. Darnall said he had read over it made some changes, and suggested the court members approve it contingent upon the changes he made. Collins made the motion and Lamb seconded; the measure passed unanimously.
• Marshall County Parks Director Britney Heath told the court members she has secured a $400,000 donor for the Miracle League in exchange for naming rights of the field and playground, which puts her nearly halfway to reaching the estimated $1 million construction cost for the park. She said the donor has requested anonymity. She's been working with an engineer who's donating his time in helping her identify options for layout of the park at the space where it will go, which is along Hwy 68 road frontage, just down from the park's main entrance.
She said the shoe drive is complete, she still has bracelets and shirts available for purchase for some fundraising and she's currently planning a large fundraiser. "The Night of Miracles" at the end of Feb. will be held in Paducah, she said, and a black tie event with a red carpet, catered meal and a bar, silent and live auctions, where she plans to sell tables instead of seats, hoping to attract large companies from across the region. She said she's also working to secure Kaleb Lee for the evening's entertainment. Coming up soon is the park's first Boo Bash, which is the weekend before Halloween, she said. It's entirely free participation for those wanting to hand out candy as well as for those wanting to come get candy and includes live music, a costume contest and a large stage where the kids can show off their costumes and have their names announced.