City Deeds Property to County for Solid Waste Transfer Station

March 5, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Smithville Mayor and Aldermen
Members of Smithville Industrial Development Board and Mayor Jimmy Poss
County Mayor Mike Foster and members of County Commission (Older Photo)

Thanks to the Smithville Industrial Development Board and the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, the county is a step closer to developing a solid waste transfer station and recycling center, which could be operational by fall.

During its regular monthly meeting Monday night, the Smithville Aldermen voted to deed to the county some property in the Industrial Park on Highway 70 east behind Tenneco for the development of the transfer station. Surveys are to be done but city and county officials said the site includes about five to seven acres of useable property. The industrial development board deeded the property to the city at no cost knowing that the city would deed it to the county at no cost for this purpose.

According to County Mayor Mike Foster, the county will fund the cost of extending a road that currently dead ends by Tenneco in the industrial park. The road will then make a right turn and extend toward the transfer station, which will be on the back corner several hundred yards behind Tenneco. "Working with the city and the Industrial Development Board, we've been able to acquire that property and in exchange for that we're (county) going to build the road into their property. We've agreed to dig out the top soil and put in the gravel and get it ready to pave, then we're going to apply for a fast track grant and hopefully get that to help pave it for the city and everybody who uses it," said County Mayor Foster in an interview with WJLE Wednesday.

The existing Class I landfill, located off Billings Road in the eastern portion of the county, will soon be full. Foster said he is hopeful that the transfer station can be opened and the landfill closed by this fall. " The county is wanting to get out of the Class I landfill business because of the environmental liability and its costly the way you have to do things. You have to line it (cell) with 60 mil plastic and put a 60 mil plastic over the top," said Foster.

Although it's not a landfill, the transfer station would be a gathering point for household solid waste. The garbage would be brought in by trucks, dumped inside a building, immediately loaded onto semi-trucks and then hauled away to another county willing to contract with DeKalb County to accept it. "One of the good things about it is that there is very little leachate that comes out of that (garbage) but whatever there is will go into the city sewer system. There is a sewer line there we can hook to without having to haul it (leachate) that is such a problem," said Foster. The county currently has to haul leachate from the landfill by trucks for treatment and disposal at the city waste water treatment plant. Leachate is a liquid that moves through or drains from the landfill or a garbage collection site.

Another advantage is that the transfer station would be centrally located in the county and both the city and county would save fuel costs. " Its a win, win because the city will no longer have to haul their garbage to the landfill, ten or eleven miles each way and we won't either," said Foster. "The garbage will come in, just the household garbage. It will come in, be loaded on a semi and hauled out of the county and disposed of either in Smith County or Murfreesboro," he said.

While the Class I landfill will be closing, the county will maintain a Class III/IV landfill next to the existing site for non-household solid waste. " We will still have a Class III/IV cell on the property adjoining where we are now that is owned by the county. It would be for construction debris, brush, or anything but household garbage. To develop the Class III/IV cell, we will have to dig it out and then pack it with clay to get a liner in there. But we won't have to put a plastic liner in that (cell) and we won't have to put a plastic liner on top of it. The estimates from the engineers are that it (Class III/IV landfill) would last us forty to fifty years," said Foster.

Like all the previous landfills, the county will have to meet state and federal post closure regulations for up to 30 years after the existing Class I landfill closes. Under post closure standards, operators of Class I landfills are required to continue monitoring and maintaining the site once its closed to protect against leaks or other hazards that would pose a threat to the environment.

According to Foster, the county has sufficient funding available to develop the transfer station and recycling center, close the existing Class I landfill, and start a new Class III/IV landfill cell for non-household garbage. " We started putting our depreciation and post closure money into a fund several years ago and we've got enough now to close the cell, build a III/IV cell and build the transfer station without having to borrow any money," he said.

Foster expressed his thanks to the Smithville Mayor and Aldermen and members of the Industrial Development Board for their support. "I'm very thankful to the city and industrial board for helping us with this. We can make it (solid waste operation) much better for them and us and for the people in the county without that environmental liability," he said.

(TOP PHOTO: Aldermen Jason Murphy, Tim Stribling, Mayor Jimmy Poss, and Aldermen Josh Miller, Shawn Jacobs, and Danny Washer)

(MIDDLE PHOTO: Smithville Industrial Board Chairman Walter Burton, Industrial Board member Tim Stribling, and Mayor Jimmy Poss. Industrial Board members not pictured: Richard Judkins, Tom Grooms, Alan Webb, Wesley James, and John Robert Nixon)

(BOTTOM PHOTO: FRONT ROW: County Commissioners: Bradley Hendrix, Elmer Ellis, Jr. Jimmy Poss, Jerry Adcock, former county commissioner John Green, and Bobby Joines. BACK ROW: County Mayor Mike Foster and County Commissioners Mason Carter, David McDowell, Larry Summers, Jerry Scott, Jeff Barnes, Wayne Cantrell, and Marshall Ferrell. Not Pictured: Rick Cantrell, who replaced John Green)

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