Board Votes to Close Recycling Drop Sheds
Wed, 11 Sep 2019 10:57:44 CDT
The future of the Montgomery County Recycling Program was once again a topic of discussion during the County Board meeting on Tuesday, Sep. 10.
The board approved a motion to close all drop sheds in the county, with the exception of the facility in Hillsboro, and to cease pickup of materials, effective October 1. The sheds will be closed for the remainder of the fiscal year.
Following the resignation of Recycling Supervisor Mike Hand, the department is down to two full-time employees and one part-time. Board members Chuck Graden and Megan Beeler each said there is simply not enough manpower to justify keeping all sheds open at this time. While the decision was made to close the sheds, they will accept recyclable materials if the individual municipalities choose to receive the items and then deliver them to the Hillsboro facility themselves. The materials must be separated before delivery. Beeler said this option is not a long-term solution, and the future of the program is still unknown.
Prior to the vote, other board members spoke about the program. Glenn Bishop said the first thing the board must do is decide if they are committed to the recycling program or not. He also said he does not believe a special service taxing district should be created in order to support it. He said while he is in favor of keeping the program open and knows many utilize it, he believes it is not the responsibility of property owners to fund the program.
Kirby Furness said with the announcement of the Coffeen Power Plant closing, the county is going to have to make cuts. They expect to lose a projected $675,000 in supplemental sales tax revenue next fiscal year and are looking at a loss of $1 million the year after. He suggested looking into privatizing the program, and said he has spoken with at least one person who has expressed interest in taking it over. Other board members also said they had spoken with individuals who were interested in taking it over in a privatized fashion.
With the long-term future still unclear, the board moved forward with the vote to close the drop sheds.
The next Montgomery County Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 8, at 5:30 p.m.
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