Landfill permit application complete

In an effort to address state violations, the regional landfill south of Fort Dodge has completed its application for a permit ahead of schedule.

“This is our completed landfill permit application. That’s one of the things we were cited for,” said Mark Campbell, chairman of the North Central Iowa Regional Solid Waste Agency’s executive board.

The permit application was due at the Department of Natural Resources by June 1, said Interim Director Cindy Turkle during the monthly board meeting Tuesday night.

Turkle said she submitted the application on Monday.

Turkle has said new changes and policies have brought the landfill current with standard industry procedures.

The landfill had previously been referred to the Iowa attorney general’s office for violations took place between 2008 and 2012.

A complaint has been filed by the board with the county attorney regarding some of those past actions.

“We’re asking the county attorney to investigate possible past misappropriation of funds,” Campbell said, declining to elaborate further.

An audit released in December showed that under former directors Mike Grell and Deb Watson, the agency paid about $996,000 for hauling gravel, a rate higher than that approved by the board, without going through the proper bidding process. The owner of the hauling company was Grell’s son.

Free spring cleaning is no more

Campbell restated information from a previous meeting about free disposal days.

The board decided in March to stop offering the free clean-up days as a cost-saving measure. Turkle said he processing and disposal of the trash was costing the agency more than $26,000 annually.

The agency will accept free dumping this year until July 1.

As of May 17, spring cleanup had resulted in a total of 973 tons, or $34,046 worth of garbage, turned in for free from 22 towns.

Those towns will have to budget for the disposal fee in order to have their citywide clean-up days next year, Campbell said.

“Communities are still more than welcome to do that, it’s just not going to come here for free,” said Campbell. “We can talk about that, but we still have to pay the DNR, it still takes up our capacity.”

Gypsum removal may be done for free

Some gypsum blocking construction of a new waste cell may be removed by Quarry Services Inc.

Turkle indicated that Wayne Krug, owner of Quarry Services, could come in and remove the gypsum at no cost, and the agency in turn would let him keep it for no cost.

Rasch Construction is building the new cell. After they remove the dirt covering the gypsum, Krug could come in and move it.

“I can easily take 300, 400 tons a day out, but I don’t know how much is there,” Krug said. “I would need enough to make it pay. Once we get some scratched off the top it’s pretty easy to determine.”

The stone needs to be moved quickly so Rasch can continue work, Turkle said.

The board made no final decision other than to move forward with uncovering it.

New bulldozer purchase tabled

The board considered four bids for a new garbage bulldozer from Case, John Deere, Caterpillar and Komatsu. The current bulldozer is nearing the end of its warranty.

Case offered the cheapest bulldozer, but the board was concerned about longer repair times. John Deere and Cat both have local shops, and Komatsu has a technician at its Des Moines location, while someone would have to travel to Des Moines to work on the Case.

Komatsu has been used in the past at the agency, but had the second highest bid.

The board voted to table the decision until agency personnel had time to check out each machine and see how it performed. Representatives from all four companies were present at the meeting.

Insurance savings sought

The board heard about a new Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance plan which Campbell said would save the agency about $12,000 a year.

Deductables would go up, but premiums would go down. For example a $250 deductible would rise to $750 but a premium of $740 would drop to $405 a month. Also, the co-pay would go towards the deductible, while it currently does not.

The board was unable to vote on the plan, since it was not on the agenda. However, Turkle said an answer was needed by June 15, before the next meeting.

Attorney Steve Kersten said this was an administrative decision, and could be made by the director without a vote.