City council to hold public hearing on landfill


Public input sought on possible expansion, rate increases

By Nathan Kraatz - [email protected]



Clinton County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Debbie Stamper addressed Wilmington council, presenting her organization’s budget and marketing plan.


Nathan Kraatz | Wilmington News Journal

Studying a map of the landfill and its proposed expansion are, from left, Solid Waste Superintendent Braden Dunham, council member Jonathan McKay, council member Joe Spicer, Wilmington Treasurer Paul Fear, Wilmington Safety and Service Director Brian Shidaker, Wilmington Mayor John Stanforth and council member Matt Purkey


Nathan Kraatz | Wilmington News Journal

Council also:

• Received a report from Wilmington Mayor John Stanforth, who said he was still trying to secure easements from property owners for a Safe Routes to Schools project.

• Stanforth also told council that a disc jockey from Nashville, Tennessee praised the Wilmington Transit Department on his show. The DJ’s vehicle reportedly broke down, and he used the transit service, Stanforth said.

• Stanforth also told council that the city will save $70,000 on insurance this year at no additional cost to employees.

• Received a report from the cemetery committee, chaired by Jonathan McKay, who said the statute soldier at the cemetery was headed to the commissary’s quartermaster for a new hat. Part of the statue was broken and needs repair.

• Received a report from Wilmington Safety and Service Director Brian Shidaker, who said the railroad crossing at Doan Street would undergo a diagnostic test and may receive up to $250,000 in improvements. In “horrible” condition, Shidaker said the crossing wasn’t due for an inspection until 2020 but said he spoke with the state railroad commission and hopes to have it fixed by the end of the year.

• Shidaker also told council that it costs between $2,000 and $3,000 to send out a road crew to treat roads and more at night, when overtime pay occurs. “You’re really throwing money out the back of your truck and you’re damaging your roads at the same time, but it’s necessary,” Shidaker said.

• Heard from Wilmington resident Paul Hunter, who told council it appeared to him that the landfill was receiving more tonnage this year than last. He said he hadn’t seen a change in fees go before council and believed that fees may have been reduced to attract more customers. “Last time we did this fee drop … volume went up but revenue went down,” Hunter said. “If the fees were changed, there needs to be some accountability.” Spicer said he’d look into it.

• Received a report from Clinton County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Debbie Stamper. Stamper explained the CVB’s annual budget and marketing plan to council, as she did to the Clinton County commissioners, as previously reported.

• Transferred $5,000 from one Clinton County Municipal Court salary line to another to pay for a part-time employee.

• Appropriated $3,000 from the general fund to pay FlexBank fees, which finance committee chair Mark McKay said was omitted in error from the 2016 budget.

• Appropriated $8,372 from the Solid Waste fund to pay an unemployment claim.

• Approved a final resolution authorizing a project to plane and resurface a portion of State Route 730. The project is estimated to cost the city $186,472.

• Received an income tax receipt summary from Tax Commissioner Marque V. Jones showing that the city has collected $1,171,077.21 in income tax withholding thus far this year. In a finance committee meeting, Wilmington Treasurer Paul Fear and Wilmington Auditor David Hollingsworth said the increase over last year’s report, which showed $990,638.74 collected, may partially be due to a state bill that changes how withholding is received from quarterly to monthly.

• Met in executive session to discuss the compensation of a public employee or official. Council took no action after the session.

WILMINGTON — A public hearing is expected to be held March 17 in Wilmington Council chambers to present plans to expand the city landfill westward and to gather public input on what direction citizens want council to head.

“We’ve gotten some really good information as far as what we can do with the landfill,” said council member and solid waste and recycling committee chair Joe Spicer. “We’re going for a public hearing for the next council meeting. … We want input from the public on how to proceed forward. We have our ideas and wishes, but we need to hear from you folks.”

Spicer said he doesn’t want to sell it, “but it doesn’t mean we won’t entertain that if that’s what you folks want.”

In previous meetings, Spicer had said most people were either in favor of closing it or expanding it, but not many favored selling it to a company.

At a solid waste committee meeting before council, Sanitation Department Superintendent Braden Dunham said an engineer suggested what Braden calls “a piggyback landfill.”

“It’s a landfill cell that’s attached to the west slope of our current hill,” Dunham said. “It gets us out to the distance we need to meet that original west expansion.”

Instead of capping and closing the one landfill cell and building another one, Dunham said the “piggyback landfill” will make combine the current cell to the other one.

“That will eliminate the possible closure and full capping of the (current) cell,” Dunham told the committee.

A document Dunham provided claimed that eliminating that and the post-closure monitoring program would save $4.4 million dollars in closure costs.

Building the “piggyback,” which is about 5 or 6 acres of area, would cost about $2 million, according to Dunham, who said that was in “worst case numbers.” That cell would last for five years.

He said a lot of leachate collection and drainage work has to happen, but it will eliminate costs associated with expanding and excavation. In fact, Dunham said he received an $800,000 estimate for that expansion from an engineer.

The proposed expansion would give about 45 to 55 years of life, compared to about 5 years left for the current cell. As the piggyback itself settles, the current cell could still be used.

“Originally what we thought … was we were going to have to close this and start all over,” said Wilmington Safety and Service Director Brian Shidaker. “This allows us to connect them and not have to spend the $2 million to close this.”

“In five years, we have to do something huge,” Dunham said. “To prepare for that I came up with some” preliminary numbers for rate increases.

Those numbers call for increasing residential collection from $14.85 to $17 monthly; increasing recycling fees from 1 penny to $1.50 monthly; increasing commercial curbside collection by $4 per month to $21.22; increasing commercial collection to $13.61 per yard, a $4 increase and commercial dumpster rental costs by $2 per month for all sizes.

Dunham’s estimates projected raising revenue by $487,608 per year to pay for the expansion.

Shidaker said nearby cities and private companies charge more than the city currently does, and Spicer said the only alternative, hiring a private garbage hauler, would be very costly for citizens.

“If we have to go to a private hauler, the citizens, their bills’ going to increase by 50 percent to 75 percent,” Spicer said. “If we raise it $2 or $3 … I think it’s a better value for our citizens.”

Committee member Matt Purkey said he’s used private haulers before and said the service “is mediocre at best.”

Shidaker said closing the landfill would result in “dramatic increases” to rates.

“Even though I hate to see any kind of increase,” Spicer said, “we have to face reality.”

Reach Nathan Kraatz at 937-382-2574, ext. 2510 or on Twitter @NathanKraatz.

Clinton County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Debbie Stamper addressed Wilmington council, presenting her organization’s budget and marketing plan.
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_Debbie-Stamper.jpgClinton County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Debbie Stamper addressed Wilmington council, presenting her organization’s budget and marketing plan. Nathan Kraatz | Wilmington News Journal

Studying a map of the landfill and its proposed expansion are, from left, Solid Waste Superintendent Braden Dunham, council member Jonathan McKay, council member Joe Spicer, Wilmington Treasurer Paul Fear, Wilmington Safety and Service Director Brian Shidaker, Wilmington Mayor John Stanforth and council member Matt Purkey
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_Solid-waste-committee.jpgStudying a map of the landfill and its proposed expansion are, from left, Solid Waste Superintendent Braden Dunham, council member Jonathan McKay, council member Joe Spicer, Wilmington Treasurer Paul Fear, Wilmington Safety and Service Director Brian Shidaker, Wilmington Mayor John Stanforth and council member Matt Purkey Nathan Kraatz | Wilmington News Journal
Public input sought on possible expansion, rate increases

By Nathan Kraatz

[email protected]

Council also:

• Received a report from Wilmington Mayor John Stanforth, who said he was still trying to secure easements from property owners for a Safe Routes to Schools project.

• Stanforth also told council that a disc jockey from Nashville, Tennessee praised the Wilmington Transit Department on his show. The DJ’s vehicle reportedly broke down, and he used the transit service, Stanforth said.

• Stanforth also told council that the city will save $70,000 on insurance this year at no additional cost to employees.

• Received a report from the cemetery committee, chaired by Jonathan McKay, who said the statute soldier at the cemetery was headed to the commissary’s quartermaster for a new hat. Part of the statue was broken and needs repair.

• Received a report from Wilmington Safety and Service Director Brian Shidaker, who said the railroad crossing at Doan Street would undergo a diagnostic test and may receive up to $250,000 in improvements. In “horrible” condition, Shidaker said the crossing wasn’t due for an inspection until 2020 but said he spoke with the state railroad commission and hopes to have it fixed by the end of the year.

• Shidaker also told council that it costs between $2,000 and $3,000 to send out a road crew to treat roads and more at night, when overtime pay occurs. “You’re really throwing money out the back of your truck and you’re damaging your roads at the same time, but it’s necessary,” Shidaker said.

• Heard from Wilmington resident Paul Hunter, who told council it appeared to him that the landfill was receiving more tonnage this year than last. He said he hadn’t seen a change in fees go before council and believed that fees may have been reduced to attract more customers. “Last time we did this fee drop … volume went up but revenue went down,” Hunter said. “If the fees were changed, there needs to be some accountability.” Spicer said he’d look into it.

• Received a report from Clinton County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Debbie Stamper. Stamper explained the CVB’s annual budget and marketing plan to council, as she did to the Clinton County commissioners, as previously reported.

• Transferred $5,000 from one Clinton County Municipal Court salary line to another to pay for a part-time employee.

• Appropriated $3,000 from the general fund to pay FlexBank fees, which finance committee chair Mark McKay said was omitted in error from the 2016 budget.

• Appropriated $8,372 from the Solid Waste fund to pay an unemployment claim.

• Approved a final resolution authorizing a project to plane and resurface a portion of State Route 730. The project is estimated to cost the city $186,472.

• Received an income tax receipt summary from Tax Commissioner Marque V. Jones showing that the city has collected $1,171,077.21 in income tax withholding thus far this year. In a finance committee meeting, Wilmington Treasurer Paul Fear and Wilmington Auditor David Hollingsworth said the increase over last year’s report, which showed $990,638.74 collected, may partially be due to a state bill that changes how withholding is received from quarterly to monthly.

• Met in executive session to discuss the compensation of a public employee or official. Council took no action after the session.

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