April 17– Apr. 17–Another rate hike in the Solid Waste User Fee charged to all Reno County property owners was approved on Tuesday by the Reno County Commission.
The annual assessment will climb from $92 to $96 per year per household, effective on the November property tax statement.
It’s the second consecutive year that the commission has approved a $4 jump in the annual assessment, with a third, similar hike, also is planned for next year, bringing the fee to $100 by 2021.
The additional funding is necessary, according to the landfill staff and an outside consultant advised the commission, to start an expansion project in 2021 that will extend the landfill’s life out some 50 years.
It will also allow the county to maintain current operations at levels that meet state and federal landfill regulations.
The commission Tuesday also approved an annual update to the South-Central Solid Waste Management Plan, which covers trash disposal for Reno, Rice, and Kingman counties, as well as retaining SCS Engineers of Wichita as a consultant for another year.
Besides the 4.3 percent rate increase for Reno County users, the commission approved a $1.25 hike — from $31.75 to $33 per ton — for out-of-county landfill users and an increase from $39 to $40 per ton for contaminated soil and special waste.
Even following the hike, the estimated cost per ton to Reno County residents for operating the landfill is just under $25 per ton, compared to a statewide average for landfill cost of $47, landfill office manager Megan Davidson advised. The cost for other landfills in the state run from $24 to $75 per ton.
The expansion project includes moving all of the existing landfill structures, such as the scale house and offices, to the opposite side of the street, out of the existing landfill footprint, and then converting that space into a landfill disposal cell.
Preliminary estimates of those costs are about $800,000 to prepare Cell D and $3 million for the facilities.
By implementing a vertical expansion going up 100 to 120 feet over the existing landfill, it will allow the county to extend the life of the landfill into the 2070s. Otherwise, the county would need to find additional land to expand onto starting in the next eight to 10 years, consultant Monte Markley with SCS Engineers advised the commission.
Elements of the new landfill office will include improving traffic flow, installing scales for vehicles both entering and exiting, and consolidating structures, now spread out across the property, into one place.
The engineering proposal from SCS Engineers, for seven specific tasks during 2019, totals just over $205,000.
The most significant chunk of that is $175,000 for “60 percent design” of the proposed new landfill facilities.
Last year SCS completed a 30 percent conceptual design. The additional step will provide greater detail on grading, utilities, materials, drainage, etc., which will then be delivered to Mann & Co., to develop 60 percent drawings, Markley said.
Additional tasks are an annual landfill volume calculation, an operating plan update, organic compounds sampling, programming landfill equipment with GPS data for proper site grading in the construction and demolition debris cell, and stormwater management training.
The only changes to the annual regional solid waste management plan are that Reno County is no longer operating an e-waste recycling program, though it will take e-waste that is buried in the lined pits. The program ended when TECH ended its e-cycle program earlier this year.
Also, Kingman County will no longer accept appliances, Davidson said.
In other business Tuesday: — The commission approved awarding a bid to GW Van Keppel of Wichita for purchase of a new Kenworth truck and mounted “asphalt distributor unit” for $154,644. The equipment is used to lay down oil for paving projects. It will replace equipment that is 16 years old, Public Works Director Dave McComb said.
It was unclear, however, how quickly the equipment will be delivered because of a backup for truck manufacturers. He hoped to get it before the end of the paving season, McComb said. — The commission tabled a request by Ade Enterprise LLC of Wichita, doing business as Wifco Steel, for tax and job incentives for a new 5,400 square-foot office building at its site near Medora.
County Administrator Gary Meagher advised the company wished to table the item, but he didn’t say way.
The preliminary estimate for construction is $1.1 million, according to documents filed with the county. The expansion, along with the purchase of $1.45 million in new equipment and machinery, is projected to add at least 10 jobs next year.
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