By Max Hrenda
With a new disposal contract expected to save the county’s solid waste budget nearly $100,000, Landfill Director Benny Lyons faced questions last week about his request for an additional $70,000 to fund his operations.
During the Landfill Committee’s meeting Friday morning, County Mayor Leon Humphrey questioned why Lyons’ department needed additional funds with the new disposal contract in place.
“With the new contract, it was my understanding that we’re projected upwards of a $90,000 increase,” Humphrey said. “That was before the new scales were put in. So there’s the potential to have $100,000-plus savings.
“If we’re recognizing upwards of $100,000 per year savings, we should not be asking for any additional monies until we have proven that there’s an absolute need, and we haven’t proven that.”
Of the $70,000 Lyons had sought, $40,000 was designated to support the county’s “Free Day;” $20,000 would be used to finish the Elk Mills drop-off center; and $10,000 would be used to finish paving a state-mandated ramp for the landfill’s new scales.
In addition to those projects, Lyons said other expenses are incurred that were separate from his daily operations, such as the maintenance of the closed landfill.
“Twenty years ago, the county was supposed to set aside money to take care of that landfill,” Lyons said. “We pay for all the leachate that comes out of there, we pay the closure fee. People don’t give us money for that; we do that out of what comes across the scales, every year.”