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EARLIER: Next step for garbage is to build the new facility

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Construction of $3.2 million center could begin this summer

By Lisa King

Now that mandatory curbside pickup for county residents is no longer being considered, plans for a new solid-waste facility will move ahead without further delay, officials say.

The county’s 109 Board, the entity in charge of solid waste in the county, met Wednesday to iron out details for a facility that would replace the Convenience Center in Waddy and the Recycling Center on 7th Street, to serve as a combined service.

109 Board members, consisting of Rusty Newton, chair, who is also deputy county judge-executive, Tom Rockaway and engineer Kerry Magan,  met Wednesday and voted to move the project, on hold since February because of impending curbside trash pickup plans, into its design phase.

The board presented its plans for the combined facility to the Shelby County Fiscal Court in February, proposed for 25 acres it purchased for $655,000 last year in the industrial park on Windhurst Way, off Old Brunerstown Road, near Martinrea Heavy Stamping. The construction would cost $2.5 million. The board is funded by a 3.5 percent property tax.

The board also is planning a usage fee of 3 cents per pound of trash. Newton said that the only items that customers would be charged to unload would be household garbage and bulk trash, with no charge for brush and compost, fill material, or recyclable materials such as computers, plastic, batteries, appliance, motor oil, newspapers, aluminum cans, steel, cardboard, paper, glass, ink jets, toner cartridges and cell phones.

The facility would use 4 acres of the 25-acre parcel.

The 109 Board conducted a series of meetings around the county to get feedback, and many of the dozens who attended protested various aspects of the plan, particularly the additional fee and the location of the facility. Many suggested curbside pickup would be preferable.

But that concept was dropped last week when the Shelby County Fiscal Court Legislative Committee took comments from about a dozen residents who protested the concept of the government getting involved in garbage programs. All counties surrounding Shelby have public garbage plans. The city of Shelbyville is continuing to develop curbside pickup and recycling. Simpsonville already has a garbage contract.

That decision spurred Newton to convene his group and get plans under way.

The time frame for design, to be completed by Woolpert Group in Louisville, will be about two months, said project coordinator Tim Ball of Infrastructure Renewal Services in Louisville.

 “Design will be done by the end of June,” he said. “It will take us probably a month to review, and it will be advertised for three weeks. We’ll make a decision after that point. So construction should start about four and a half months from today [Wednesday]. It will take from six to eight months to finish.”

That would take the completion date up to Spring 2014, to coincide with the board’s plans to close the Convenience Center in Waddy in June 2014.

Val Shirley, solid-waste interim director at the recycling center, asked at the meeting if the policy of accepting old tires would change, and Newton said that practice would stay in place.

“Individuals can bring in five tires per day; that will remain the same,” Newton said.

Equipment currently in place at the two facilities will be used at the new facility, reducing the amount of equipment that would have to be bought.

Newton said the issue of how residents would pay to use the facility still has not been resolved, though they are leaning toward using cards issued for that purpose.

Newton reiterated at the meeting the benefits of building a new facility, points he had made both to the fiscal court and at several public community meetings held in February.

“We’re going to be consolidating recycling and solid waste together, so we’ll be able to accept all the recycled materials that we can’t accept now,” he said. “We’ll have much more space to operate more efficiently. Traffic can get and out much easier without the safety issues and hazards of the railroad crossing [as occurs in Waddy].”