By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
Mark Joseph, Certified Public Accountant, was present at the Tucker County Solid Waste Authority meeting to go in-depth with some financial aspects for the board. From October to November there was approximately $898,000 worth of assets purchased. “Total assets were $52,000 higher than the month before,” explained Joseph with the net worth increasing by nearly $12,000. The cash to expense ratio currently sits at 1.41%, which compared to the same time last year, it was only 0.68%. The goal is for that ratio to be 1.0% or higher at all times.
Another income statement for the past five months ending November 30 was presented which Joseph highlighted the net income of nearly $12,000 November 2020 compared to a loss of $95,045 the year prior. “That’s roughly about $106,000 improvement this month versus last month, and that’s made up primarily of revenue being increased of roughly $56,000,” he said with expenses being decreased.
With the rate increase that went into effect and the tonnage seeing a slight increase, revenue is up nearly 15% or almost $200,000 compared to last year. Asset depreciation was reviewed as well as operating expenses. “These five months have been very strong and positive cash flow,” said Joseph.
The minutes from the December 8 meeting were approved with a motion by Board Member Chris Lowther and a second from Vice Chair Dennis Filler with all in favor. Secretary and Treasurer of the SWA Carol Helmick, who also serves as the Office Manager of the Tucker County Landfill, began the reports with tonnage holding steady for December as compared to the year prior. “This is an increase of 504.97 ton compared to our fiscal year up to December,” said Helmick.
Leachate hauled in November amounted to 531,509 gallons and December produced 544,257 gallons with $13,606.43 in treatment costs. The gallons hauled this fiscal year compared to last have decreased by 5,733 gallons. Once the old cell is capped, the total leachate should reduce gradually.
The accounts receivable are currently paid up to date except for five accounts remaining outstanding. Those individuals have been contacted and are supposed to be making payments. The accounts payables were all paid with the Cleveland Brothers bill down to just over $25,000.
A decrease was noted in the ending bank balance as a result of catching up on past due bills and the top ten customers have remained similar. The Department of Highways was included this month due to the demolition of the houses in the route of the future Corridor H. Preston Sanitation has paid their account after a deal had been made offering a discount if paid in full. The check register and statement from the Fifth Third P-Card were offered for review of the board as well.
Acting Chair Mark Holstine took part in a meeting with the Department of Environmental Protection to discuss notices of violation status regarding violations that were issued around the time of supersedure. A plan of action needs to be developed to showcase how the landfill plans to address those issues, but some of the violations have existed since 2018. Holstine said he and the DEP are in a disagreement referring to how frequently and the intensity of the inspection rate over the past several months. Strides are being made to resolve these outstanding issues.
Holstine offered an example of what the DEP requires, including that flow meters are to be installed on all lines containing leachate that is going into storage. “At most landfills that are well designed, that would be a (one) flow meter,” he explained. “We have three areas that we store leachate in, in those areas we have multiple leachate lines coming into storage,” he added which leads to an expensive project. A plan of corrective action is being requested by the DEP and is in progress by the SWA.
One of the haulers with Tygart Valley Sanitation has expressed displeasure with the condition of the facility, more specifically that of the haul road into the cell. Holstine contacted the individual and told him that any time he sees or has an issue to please contact him or the Executive Director of the landfill, Jody Alderman. Lowther reiterated that he too spoke with the hauler and stated he thinks the hauler could be seeing issues when Alderman is working on other matters. The biggest concern he shared was the inappropriate use of the equipment and multiple workers carrying out a job that only requires one. Filler added that he hopes the employees understand how the SWA has worked and the money put into the facility to get it up to standards and it is expected the new equipment to be taken care of.
Alderman has been traveling and researching tanker trucks for the landfill. One met the needs of the facility and was purchased from a farm equipment and supply store in Green Castle, Pa., but they are still on the search for one more. Sealed bids were requested for a tanker trailer and one was received from the owner of one that the landfill has been leasing. The requested amount was $7,500 and they have been leasing it for $20 per load, which Alderman assured was fair market value. Davis made a motion to approve the purchase with Filler offering a second with all in favor.
The John Deere 850L dozer that was ordered has been received and Alderman is very pleased with its performance thus far. A new F-250 crew cab pickup has been ordered and is expected to be delivered sometime in April.
Commissioner Fred Davis commended Holstine, Alderman, the SWA, and their employees on how far the condition of the landfill has come in lieu of the issues they are still facing.
Compactors are continuing to be an issue at the landfill, but Holstine’s goal is for the facility to pay off its loan to the Solid Waste Management Board by November 2021 when they can financially afford to lease to purchase a new unit. The cost of a new compactor with a service package will cost the landfill approximately $800,000 but is a crucial machine for the operation.
Communication has been in place between the Landfill and Atlantic Broadband in consideration of switching service providers. This would potentially improve functions at the Scale House with their operating software and the card reader for payments. Alderman is contacting other local entities that use this network provider to check on reliability. Until those contacts are made, Lowther and Filler made a motion to table the agenda item.
This meeting served as the second reading of the by-laws as amended with no changes being made since the last reading. A notice was received that Sunrise Sanitation has increased their rates, which Holstine said was a result of a legislative session where the PSC allowed certified haulers to adjust their rates based on a consumer price index without the need for approval. “As far as I can tell, most all haulers have increased the 3.5% (approximate) across the state,” said Holstine.
The next meeting of the TCSWA will be Tuesday, February 16 at 3 p.m. at the Tucker County Courthouse Courtroom.