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County considers landfill offer
Jul 07, 2004 12:00 am
With Wilson County and Lebanon still negotiating over a piece of the county's landfill leakage issue, a public board overseeing the solid waste department discussed a possible offer for the landfill late last week.
Wilson County Mayor Robert Dedman said the Urban-Type Public Facilities Board recessed its public meeting to hear an offer on the county's landfill site. Dedman said the committee "made public" the potential offer from an unidentified company, but met behind closed doors to hear the financial offer and its conditions.
"We didn't take a vote," Dedman said Monday. "It was just an offer."
After reconvening from the private meeting, Dedman said the committee elected to adjourn for the day.
Dedman added since he has been in office, the county has received at least three or four offers from waste management companies to purchase the landfill. The county, however, has not accepted any. County officials have elected to remain in the solid waste business.
A source in county government who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the potential offer was from waste industry giant BFI.
BFI is one of the world's leading waste services companies with more than 26,000 employees and 14,400 collection vehicles in about 250 operating locations. BFI holds 1,300 municipal contracts in North America and services more than 7 million residential accounts each week.
BFI's offer to purchase the landfill was reportedly for $125 million, which will be dispersed over a period of undetermined years.
The source also said an ongoing battle concerning a leakage problem and its large price tag may have contributed to the offer being made.
Wilson County and Lebanon governments have been continuously discussing who will pay to fix a leakage problem at the county landfill. Both governments are involved in the problem, because Lebanon's old landfill is now incorporated in the county's. Wilson County currently maintains the area.
Lebanon has proposed a $2 million project to correct the leakage problem and recommended Wilson County pay 35 percent of the costs. But the county didn't accept the proposal, choosing to collect its own financial estimates. County officials have also maintained the leakage problems stem from the 29-acre section of the landfill formerly owned by the City of Lebanon.
Lebanon officials have argued it is impossible to tell where the leakage problems originate.
Discussions over the amount are still ongoing.
Staff Writer J.K. Devine can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 46 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Managing Editor Clint Brewer can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 13 or be e-mail at email@example.com.