A service business with a half-million annual deficit would be difficult to continue. Making that deficit go away and turning it into a revenue source is reason for celebration.
When the service is Hardin County’s landfill, taxpayers will be holding the party.
For the past decade, the Pearl Hollow Landfill averaged an annual net loss of $450,000. That’s $4.5 million in tax money local residents contributed to ensure the landfill costs were covered.
That money no longer will be thrown away.
Instead the franchise agreement with Santek Environmental of Kentucky promises a positive cash flow of at least $350,000, according to local officials.
“Today marks a huge win for Hardin County taxpayers,” Judge-Executive Harry Berry said in a formal statement about the decision.
Berry credited Deputy Judge-Executive Daniel London with the diligent year-long negotiations leading up to Hardin Fiscal Court’s approval of the deal.
“It’s a win-win for Hardin County, that is for sure,” Magistrate Fred Clem said.
Santek now is responsible for all operations of the Pearl Hollow Landfill.
Out of the $32.38 charged per ton of waste, Santek will pay Hardin County $7.25 per ton up to 180,000 tons per year and $4.75 per ton for all waste over 180,000 tons of waste. Santek also plans to invest around $11 million for capital expenditures into Pearl Hollow over the life of the 10-year agreement.
Obviously, Santek is not in business to lose money and it will seek additional volume or other means to ensure a profit.
In the meantime, Hardin County government says goodbye to a headache and a drain on its financial resources.
Looking further down the county’s budget does prompt one question: Anyone know someone interested in the jail business?
This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.