Landfill committee debates tire disposal

Published 9:06 am Monday, June 9, 2014

What started out as ordinary business to approve the renewal of a contract for the landfill’s tire disposal turned into

Landfill committee member John Lewis spoke out against renewing the county's agreement to participate in a tire disposal center during Friday's committee meeting.

Landfill committee member John Lewis spoke out against renewing the county’s agreement to participate in a tire disposal center during Friday’s committee meeting.

a long debate during the county’s Landfill Committee meeting on Friday.
Carter County currently participates in a five-county agreement for a tire disposal center, which is located in Washington County.
In the past, the State of Tennessee had a grant program that provided money to counties to help pay for the disposal of tires. Carter County Landfill Manager Benny Lyons reported to the committee that state funding for tire disposal has now changed.
“The state is no longer doing what they call the grant,” Lyons said. “What the state is now doing is they are now giving us $1 for each tire sold by the tire dealers in Carter County.” That money comes from fees collected by the state from tire dealers on tires sold in the county.”
Lyons said that money will be turned over by Carter County to the “Tire Hub” in Washington County to pay for the disposal of tires.
At the committee meeting on Friday, members of the committee discussed the renewal of the contract with the Tire Hub for the disposal of tires.
During the discussion, it was brought up that the tire collection center in Washington County had cut back on its hours of operation in an effort to save money. It was the change in hours by the collection center that sparked comments by one member of the committee.
“I don’t buy it that they are closing down to part time to try to save money,” said committee member John Lewis. “This is disadvantaging to the poor old tire man.”
Lewis said he felt that cutting back the hours the tire collection center was open would put an undue hardship on the tire dealers by making it more difficult for them to drop off their tires at a time that’s convenient to them.
“Mr. Lewis, I do not believe this agreement addresses their hours,” said committee chair Joel Street. “It just addresses whether or not we want to do business.”
Street said that the county had to approve the contract before the start of the new fiscal year on July 1 in order to be able to continue tire disposal through the agreement, and the county had no other alternatives for tire disposal at the same price.
“There is just no way we can get this done cheaper as an entity by ourselves,” he said.
Lewis said he felt signing the contract would approve the hours of the collection center and he made a motion that the committee not vote on the agreement until it could be researched further and members of the committee could talk to tire dealers in Carter County to see how the change in hours of operation at the collection center affected them. The motion failed due to a lack of a second on the motion.
Following the failed motion by Lewis, a motion was made by committee member Charles Von Cannon to approve the contract and the motion was seconded by committee member Bobbie Gouge-Dietz. The motion passed with the only dissenting vote being cast by Lewis.
Members of the committee also heard a report from Lyons regarding problems a state auditor found with software used by the landfill for billing. Lyons said the software had been purchased at a cost of $3,800 as part of the bidding for the purchase of new scales for the landfill and provided licensing for only one computer. He said the auditor noted 17 items with the software which needed correcting and the company said it would cost an additional $3,100 to correct those issues, but, he added the company also said they would be willing to refund the original purchase price in full if the county decided to go that route.
“My thoughts in dealing with this company, we would be better off getting our money refunded and going with another company,” Lyons said. “I’ve called them on some issues already and they have yet to get me squared away. I’ve lost faith in them.”
Following discussion on the issue, the committee voted 7-1 to seek a refund on the software and pursue the purchase of new software based on a recommendation from the state auditor.

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