Landfill begins work to replace equipment lost in fire

Published 8:53 am Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Members of the Carter County Landfill Committee met with other county officials on Tuesday morning to discuss how to help the landfill recover from a recent fire and begin work to replace damaged equipment to maintain landfill operations.

On Jan. 20, an early morning fire destroyed the garage, three trucks, and a large number of tools and equipment at the Carter County Landfill. The trucks destroyed were the front end loader trash truck, the roll-off truck, and a pickup truck used to haul fuel to equipment around the landfill.

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During Tuesday’s meeting, Carter County Solid Waste Director Benny Lyons addressed those assembled regarding an inventory of what all was lost in the blaze and what his immediate needs are to keep the landfill functioning.

Lyons said he has spoken to and met with representatives of the county’s insurance policy several times and the company is working to determine a value of the items lost in the fire.

“Our insurance will cover everything except for a $500 deductible,” Carter County Finance Director Christa Byrd said. “The question is how will they value what we had.”

Vehicles and other equipment depreciate in value over time, Byrd explained. Because of that, the money the county receives from the insurance claim might not be enough to cover all of the costs for replacing the vehicles and equipment lost.

As the county waits for the insurance claim to be processed, Lyons said there are some things he needs immediately to ensure that landfill operations continue.

“My immediate needs are a front loader trash truck and a roll-off truck,” Lyons said. Also included in the immediate needs were a gas welder & leads, cutting torches, water pump for leachate, oxygen & acetylene bottles,  and a variety of tools.

Byrd said the landfill does have a fund balance that can be tapped into as well as the operating transfer fund.

“Before we get a check from the insurance we should have enough to purchase everything except for one of the vehicles,” Byrd said. “We can get one of them but not both.”

Because those funds are already within the landfill budget, Byrd said Lyons could go ahead and begin purchasing what he needs and once the insurance check arrives the Commission can approve the budget amendments to recognize the insurance payment and purchases.

The garage building itself was a total loss, Lyons told the committee. The fire burned so hot that the metal structural supports were warped and the concrete was also damaged, Lyons said.

A new garage will need to be constructed at the site, and some members of the committee suggested the county could look at incorporating the garage into the proposed demo waste transfer station.