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Residents who plan to take their trash to the new waste collection facility planned for just west of Shelbyville will have to pay 2 to 5 cents per pound to do so.
The facility, which would replace the current convenience center in Waddy, will be built at 920 Windhurt Way on 25 acres that cost taxpayers $2.5 million.This new facility would combine waste-collection and recycling, and the Recycling Center on 7th Street and the Convenience Center in Waddy would close.
Rusty Newton, chairman of the 109 Board, the entity that will construct and maintain the facility, told Shelby County Fiscal Court magistrates at a presentation Monday night that the fee is necessary to help pay for hauling the trash to a landfill in Anderson County.
That transportation process has been in place for decades, and officials never have imposed a fee, even though the cost of fuel has risen 32 percent since the facility in Waddy was built in the 1970s, Newton said.
“We just can’t continue to operate as we have been doing,” he said.
Newton said that is because the cost to maintain the landfill has increased over time, including the “tipping” fee, which is the amount of money that Anderson County charges for Shelby to use their facility, and also fuel prices have increased as well.
The usage fee would not have to be approved any entity, and would not apply to recycling.
Newton said one central location offers a lot of advantages, including a more room, increased safety for both employees and customers, and convenience.
“It’s an ideal location,” he said.
He touted room enough for both cars and trucks to use the facility at the same time, and people no longer would have to worry about the hazards of crossing railroad tracks to enter and leave, he said.
Listed on county tax bills as the landfill, the 109 Board has taxed property owners 3.5 percent since the establishment of waste collection in Shelby County in 1970, and it operates with an $894,000 annual budget, Newton said.
He said the seven employees currently working at both facilities will continue on at the new center, as will the same two trucks.
The 109 Board is mandated by state law to include two county representatives, and one person appointed by the mayor of Shelbyville, which currently is engineer Kerry Magan. The two county representatives are Newton and Tom Rockaway, a Shelby County resident who teaches engineering at the University of Louisville and has been a member of the 109 Board for 5 years.
Plan draws praise
At this point, no dirt has been turned on the property, and Newton told magistrates that he wants to spend the next few weeks gathering public opinion before moving on to the design phase.
No public meetings have been scheduled, but residents can pick up fact sheets at the Convenience Center and the Recycling Center.
Magistrates said they thought the proposal sounded like a good idea. Michael Riggs asked if a rendering or sketch was available, but Newton said the design phase would not begin until after public input has been gathered.
Tony Carriss asked if businesses could use the facility, too, and Newton said yes.
To Hubie Pollett’s question of whether the equipment already in place at the county’s two facilities could be used there, Newton said yes, and that a scale would be added so that vehicles can weigh in and out.
Shelbyville Mayor Tom Hardesty, who also attended the meeting, said he liked the proposal as well.
“I commend Rusty, and I think it [the facility] will serve the people well,” he said.