September 30, 1999

County Commission Dumps
Trash Business Takeover Plan
By Jon A. Brake

The Riley County Commission will not be taking over the trash hauling
Last week the Free Press reported the Riley County Commission were calling
for “Public controlled municipal solid waste collection in Riley County. In
other words: the County would takeover the trash hauling business. There
are about twelve private hauler in Riley County.
County Commissioner Jim Williams said that when he and Commissioner Russ
Frey signed the letter, he did not read it. The Commission sent the letter
to the Solid Waste Management Committee asking them to add a waste
collection chapter to the waste management plan. Commissioner Bob Newsome
was not at the meeting when the letter was signed.
The Commissioners said a lot of Riley County trash is being taken to Geary
and Pott Counties. This has caused the revenues at the local transfer
station to drop. Williams said that after last weeks paper several haulers
called and he thinks it will work out.
As the memo below states, the County charges $33.00 per ton. The transfer
station cost $2.2 million. In comparison Geary County charges $36.00 per
ton and their transfer station cost just over $900,000 with included a new
street. Pottawatomie County charges $25.00 per ton and their transfer
station cost $499,000.
Here is the memo given to the County Commission from Dan Harden, Public
Works Director:
A review of the transfer station debt service revealed the following:
* The transfer station was financed at 2.2 million dollars in 1994.
* The bond issues were 1994-A and 1994-B.
* Bond issues 1994-A and 1994-B were refinanced in 1998 and became a part
of bond issue 1998-A.
* At the time of the original financing, the Board of County Commissioners”
goal was to fund half of the transfer station debt service with property
tax revenue, and the other half with gate fee revenue.
* At the time of the refinancing of 1994-A and 1994-B, Riley County had
paid the bondholders $818,889.91 for transfer station principal and
interest of which $416,563.08 came from transferred gate fee revenue. This
resulted in the gate fee revenue paying $7,118.13 more that 50 percent of
the debt service.
* To date, Riley County has paid the 1998-A bondholders $297,606.64 for
transfer station principal and interest payments. Of this amount,
$139,370.60 came from the gate fee revenues. The gate fee revenues failed
to pay 50 percent of the debt service by $9,432.72. This shortage plus the
$7,118.13 overage left the gate fee revenues underpaying by $2,314 since
the inception of the gate fee on 1 December 1994.
* It appears the fall off in municipal solid waste being transferred
through the transfer station has been almost exactly offset by the increase
in amount of the tipping fee being charged for transfer station usage. Of
the $33.00 tipping fee, $2.76 per tipped ton went for debt service from
December 1994 through June 1995. The tipping fee remained at $33.00.
* The last 36,000 tons have produced the $9,132.72 debt service short fall.
This amounts to a short fall of nominally 25 cents per ton.
* I recommend the tipping fee transfer be increased from $3.26 per tipped
ton to $3.76 per tipped ton. This will recapture the $9,132.72 short fall
and provide for additional user fee funds to transfer to the bond and
interest account for transfer station debt retirement.
* The outstanding transfer station debt is about $1.7 million dollars.