Radcliff adopts solid waste agreement

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Approval allows county to submit solid waste plan to state

By Marty Finley

Radcliff City Council approved an agreement Thursday with Hardin Fiscal Court recognizing a compromise for the county’s five-year update of its area solid waste management plan.

The resolution’s passage ends a months-long debate over the details of the plan and Radcliff’s perceived role in its development and gives Hardin County government the flexibility to submit the plan to the state before the deadline in mid-December.

The joint resolution adopted by the city gives the mayor authority to select a representative from the city for the advisory committee during the next update of the plan.

Hardin County government also affirms in the resolution that no ordinance exists, nor are there plans to create an ordinance, restricting the city’s ability to control collection of its own waste as long as the city’s plan meets requirements for universal collection and disposal of the waste falls in line with the county’s solid waste management plan. This, in essence, verifies the county’s guarantee not to assume or attempt to assume control of the city’s solid waste franchise agreements.

In exchange, Radcliff agrees to dispose of all city-generated waste in Pearl Hollow Landfill for the remainder of the solid waste management plan period and the next franchise agreement for the city. The city will include language in its franchise agreements requiring all trash be disposed of at the county-owned landfill.

The two governments also promise to work on communication and an ongoing partnership with one another regarding solid waste management issues and concerns.

The solid waste management plan update is required by the state and outlines the mechanisms of a county’s solid waste system, detailing strengths, weaknesses and action plans for various components, such as collection and disposal.

“Both parties will come out well on this issue,” said Mayor J.J. Duvall.

Hardin Fiscal Court approved the resolution Tuesday, where Judge-Executive Harry Berry gave credit to both sides for making an agreement possible. Berry said Radcliff’s adoption of the agreement represents the continuation of a long relationship.

“I look forward to continuing the decades of city and county cooperation related to protecting the environment through coordinated waste collection and disposal benefiting all concerned,” Berry said in an email Thursday evening. “The city of Radcliff and Hardin County governments are moving forward in unity to provide the best public services possible within the collective resources available.”

Berry and Duvall met for more than three hours on “neutral ground” Election Day at the main offices of Fort Knox Federal Credit Union, ironing out their differences in the process so the county’s solid waste management plan, which is due in December, could be approved and submitted.

The state granted Radcliff an extension on the solid waste plan as it sought legal clarification about its right as a second-class city to develop its own portion of the plan. The city received a legal interpretation from the Kentucky League of Cities, which argued a county does not have authority to take control of a first or second-class city’s solid waste management system without the city’s consent. The opinion stated Radcliff has the right to prepare its own portion of the plan and implement it if the city portion is reasonably consistent with the county’s plan.

Duvall voiced concerns about the county’s failure to include Radcliff in the development of the plan and expressed fears about the county assuming its waste franchises, which would take away thousands in revenue each year. Radcliff officials also opposed a mandate from the county requiring trash from municipalities in the county be taken to Pearl Hollow Landfill.

Duvall said the resolution satisfies the questions posed by members of the council. Council members credited Duvall for his diplomacy with the county and thanked Magistrate Doug Goodman for his assistance in resolving the city’s issues.

Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com.

City Hall's stormwater issues

Radcliff City Council approved a memorandum of agreement with the state to proceed on a grant contract marked to cover a large portion of costs during the redesign of City Hall’s parking lot. City Engineer Toby Spalding said the grant, awarded by the Environmental Protection Agency and administered by the Kentucky Division of Water, will cover $274,200 of the projected $457,000 price tag. The project has been deemed a priority because the current design of the parking lot allows water runoff into the facility, which poses a safety hazard for employees with mold concerns. Spalding obtained assistance through the state after the council implored him to search for grants to offset the cost. The city’s match, he said, is $182,800, which likely will be split evenly between stormwater and general funds and spread over several fiscal cycles.

The lone dissenting vote on the agreement was Councilwoman Barbara Baker, who described the project as overly elaborate and excessive considering blocks of homes in the city still have serious drainage problems. Spalding said he has reviewed other plans but found none that would be as cheap or effective as the proposed conceptual plan.

The city hopes to create a design as soon as possible with a potential construction start in August of 2013, he said.

A more detailed report will appear in Sunday’s edition of The News-Enterprise.