By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
After having to cancel the February meeting of the Tucker County Solid Waste Authority due to weather, the board came together to discuss the last two months of business that has taken place within the Tucker County Landfill. All members were present and the minutes from January 25 were approved with a motion from Board Member Christopher Lowther and a second from Vice Chairman Dennis Filler.
Carol Helmick, Office Manager of the landfill, went into the board reports showing January’s intake was 4,257.06 ton, which is a decrease believed to be due to the weather creating hazardous travel. “This month our tonnage has been doing a lot better,” said Helmick. Filler asked if those entities just held their tonnage with Landfill Director Jody Alderman replying that some chose to take theirs to the transfer station.
There were 613,340 gallons of leachate removed in January for a total treatment cost of $15,333.50. The amount is up slightly due to 7.20 inches of rainfall received during January. Several accounts fell into the over 30 days line in the aged receivables, which Helmick said was largely due to the postal service delays as the payments were properly postmarked, just not received.
Within aged payables, only one account remains which is to Cleveland Brothers Equipment Company, with the total owed down to around $5,000. “I’m glad we got that done,” proclaimed Mark Holstine, acting Chair of the SWA and Executive Director for the Solid Waste Management Board.
Helmick presented a breakdown of deposits and billing noting the top 10 customers remain fairly the same. A check register was provided for review showing a balance of $558,025.21, as of January 31, 2021, an increase from the month prior. The P-Card statements were given to the board members followed by an income statement for six months ending December 31, 2020.
Mark Joseph, Certified Public Accountant, brought attention to the balance sheets to compare December 31, 2020, to January 31, 2021. The total current assets were just over $1 million in December and are now down to $673,000 in January primarily due to the purchase of a much-needed dozer. “If you see the total current liabilities….it’s about $792,254, that number now is at $436,355,” Joseph explained which is due to the accounts payable to pay off Leslie’s Equipment.
The ratio between current assets and current liabilities has a goal to remain off at least 1% was sitting at 1.30% at the end of December and up to 1.54% as of January 31, 2021. “That is going in the right direction,” confirmed Joseph.
Referring then to the income statement, a tonnage drop resulted in a decrease of income to the landfill, however, the overall revenue for the past seven months compared to that a year ago is up around 12%, which is about equivalent to the rate increase. The net income for six months ending December 31, 2020, was $85,859.91 compared to a loss of $177,000 last year at that time. “We did incur a loss in the month of January,” continued Joseph which is primarily due to expenses directed towards equipment repairs. “That was quite an impact to the bottom line,” he added. “The summary is that we’re moving in the right direction, there are still issues we’re going to have, there will be bumps in the road, but a $210,000 swing year to date from last year to this year is good to see,” commented Holstine.
Moving into the director’s report, Holstine began discussing the issues that have been ongoing with the Department of Environmental Protection. “We have come to an agreement with the DEP on the civil and administrative penalty,” he began, which started out at approximately $167,000 in violations. After a meeting and filing a report of explanations along with their current financial status, the final penalty was reduced to $2,500. “That has been paid,” Holstine confirmed. There are still some disagreements relating to inspection frequency that he hopes will be addressed at a later date.
Unfortunately, there are still some violations that need to be addressed at the landfill, which Alderman has already completed a plan of corrective action with a timeline that has been submitted to the DEP. Holstine noted that any violations that are incurred due to leachate are due to the pre-existing condition and until a better solution is discovered for leachate containment and treatment, future violations are inevitable. A copy of the plan will be provided to the board with most timelines set at the end of August 2021.
Alderman took over with an update on equipment purchases that, since the last meeting, only consists of an additional road tractor that was ordered in October. The landfill now has three tankers, one of which is still being altered to meet their needs, but the other two are operational. “We’re trying to haul six loads a week between the two trucks, last week we’ve been hauling eight loads,” said Alderman. The new pickup truck is expected to be delivered in Charleston on April 10 and the backup compactor is hoped to be completed by the end of the week as far as repairs and rebuilding.
The application for the Solid Waste Management Board grant for up to $25,000 has been compiled with hopes to assist with the landfill’s cost of leachate. It was requested that the SWA make a motion to approve the submission of the application, which was done so by Lowther and a second from Board Member Diane Hinkle with all in favor. The landfill received $10,000 from the same grant last year.
Alderman brought a suggestion to offer a dental and vision plan for the landfill employees through the West Virginia Association of Counties. A diagram of how much each current employee’s rate would be per month. The monthly cost for the landfill would be $568 with an annual cost of $6,816 if the costs were incurred solely by the employer. Alderman stated, “This isn’t only a recruitment tool but also a retention tool, too.” Commissioner Fred Davis made a motion to provide this service to the full-time employees with a second from Lowther and all in favor.
It was also requested to purchase a mailing system to offer a simpler way to mail, ship, and track mail and packages. Helmick had a meeting with the company recommended by the Postal Service and felt the SendPro C Lite would meet the needs of the business side of the facility. Alderman explained this would save for the need to continuously purchase stamps and weights for each envelope. Filler asked how much is spent yearly on postage with Alderman replying last year was just over $600. After discussing the lease options and supplies for the unit, Davis and Hinkle made a motion to purchase the office equipment with unanimous agreement.
The scale house is also in need of a credit card reader to offer that form of payment to their customers. After speaking with Grant County Bank, options were discovered on fees that would be associated with utilizing the system. To use the system, customers would have to pay a 3.7% plus a nine-cent transaction fee. If over $5,000 is made using that system per month, it doesn’t cost the landfill anything, but if less than $5,000 it will cost $30 for that month.
Joseph spoke up stating they would need to research through the PSC on passing these charges on to the customers and if that would be permissible. Alderman stated that where he was formerly employed there were no issues, but everyone agreed to contact the PSC would be the best option. Pending PSC approval, Davis made a motion to approve the credit card option with the customer paying the fees with a second from Board Member James Alford and all were in agreement.
The landfill has been in contact with Atlantic Broadband to bring their services into the landfill, which Holstine felt would open up a lot of benefits and opportunities for the facility. Alderman called around to find out what the reliability of the service is like and he stated it came highly recommended. Hinkle added her only issue with Atlantic Broadband was getting technical support, though a business account would be handled slightly differently. The proposal quoted a monthly recurring fee of $492.94 and a one-time installation fee of $5,500 which Filler confirmed from experience the price is cheap compared to other options. Filler and Lowther made the motions to move forward with the project with all in favor.
With no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned with the next meeting scheduled for Tuesday, April 13 at 3 p.m. at the Tucker County Courthouse Courtroom.