Landfill Promises Target of Budget Cuts

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Rants and Raves of Mac McIntyre

The DeKalb County Board is trying to cover a shortfall of over $1 million to balance the budget for 2018 without going into reserves and to make up for the lost fuel tax windfall from an agreement set-up by airline companies to avoid paying taxes to Cook County.

A proposal to be considered by the Finance Committee is to cut between $75,000 to more than $200,000 from the DeKalb County Health Department Solid Waste Program.

When the megadump in Cortland was approved in 2009 a Host Fee Agreement was signed that included an annual payment of $200,000 to be adjusted by the CPI for the Solid Waste Program. It was enticements like that and a $100,000 annual payment for the Forest Preserve District that persuaded several county board members to support the expansion. Others were persuaded by a dedication of tipping fees to pay for the new county jail.

If the proposed cuts are approved it would basically end the program that was set up to protect the environment and to reduce waste from going into the landfill. The County Board should look for cuts elsewhere.

Who to call:

Names of all the County Board members and contact information: http://dekalbcounty.org/CountyBoard/members.html

This link will provide the names of those on the Finance Committee. http://dekalbcounty.org/CountyBoard/pdf/cb_stand.pdf

This link will take you to the 2016 Solid Waste Annual Report that will list the accomplishments of the program in 2016.

http://dekalbcounty.org/Health/environmental/pdf/solidwasteplans/16swannrpt.pdf

 

Promises, Promises, Signed Contracts…

Source:

http://dekalbcounty.org/landfill/HostCommunityAgreement.pdf

 

9 COMMENTS

  1. Looks like there is some confusion here in terms of identified cuts with solid waste program. It will actually remain nearly fully intact.
    Breakdown:
    Solid Waste Specialist (1FTE) ($73,012) ($45,364 salary + benefits) this position would remain with cuts but might go part time.
    Public Customer Service Level Maintained – Partial
    Event Coordination from the Solid Waste Specialist – Partial
    Community Policy Development – (Meet with Elected Officials, Municipal Staff, County Staff to Develop Policy Change) – Would not be done with part time status.
    Community Education & Public Notices ($6,700) Yes, this will remain.
    Task Force Coordination- Quarterly Mtgs Yes this will remain
    Electronic Waste Collections (3) ($10,000/event) yes these will remain but be down one event which could still happen if needed through donations or opporunity fund.
    Latex Paint Collection (Biannually) Yes this will still happen possibly down an event.
    HHW Collection (Event specific WM funds, cannot carryover funds $25,000) Yes- this will remain
    Shoe Share Collection – this would likely not remain and we would seek non profit in community to pick up this program.
    Holiday Light Collection (reduced sites) but yes will still happen.
    Composting at Corn Fest (Organic Recycling) – Will be held off from happening unless public private partnership can happen.
    Stipend to Service Organizations that assist at Collection Events Yes- will still happen
    Pilot Educational Mini Grants to Enhance Recycling ($3,000) No- this will no longer happen.
    U of I Extension Contract – K-5 educational sessions ($17,000) No- we believe the coordinator can do this and volunteers (Absorbed Internally)
    Rural Recycling collection sites (2) ($7,560/site annually) Yes will still happen
    HHW Supplement for Annual Collection ($5,000) will no longer happen
    Recycling Pilot for Multi-family properties ($5,000) Will no longer happen unless public private partnership.

    Budget Savings for FY ’18 $75,000. This cut will be in place for 3 years. Solid Waste still has $125,000 budget. As you can see most of the budget is for the staff member and programs which will remain largely intact

    The Zero Waste Task Force was created by the County Board in 2014, tied to the 2015 SW Plan update approved by the County Board & IEPA to using zero waste as a guiding principal.

    This cut does nothing to change landfill. When board members agreed to build it (I was not on board and opposed) there was $300,000 given, $200,000 each year for solid waste programs and $100,000 each year for Forest Preserve. The funds however go to the county and can be used how the board decides. Since Dec. 2014 I have been Chairman of the DeKalb County Board and we have had to cut $3.5 million from budget and another $1.5 million this year but have 26 percent in reserves and true balanced budget that does not draw from reserves.

    The solid waste programs will almost all continue and not be eliminated. Hope to restore to full funding in three years but depends on budget. Thank you.

    • There is a library of minutes, reports, emails and other documents — including sworn testimony at the siting public hearing and the Illinois courts regarding the Megadump. Promises made. Host Fee Agreement approved and signed (see insert below). Will/Did the County Board have to discuss changing the host fee agreement wording below as an action item?

    • Sounds like a LOT of cuts to the Solid Waste Program to me Mark. Those e-collection events in particular, are extremely important. And Your statements of, ‘The funds however go to the county and can be used how the board decides’ and ‘We are aware of the contract agreement. There can also be changes if agreed upon by both parties.’ both show your true colors and lack of concern for the agreements made for area residents IMO.

    • So for clarification it is not accurate to state, “The funds however go to the county and can be used how the board decides.” The Board must first approve, and WMII must agree to, changes in the Host Fee Agreement. A vote must take place and constituents’ concerns should be considered. Will they?

    • Yes, to clarify I meant that the funds go to the county and can be used how to board decides after the contract is updated based on both sides. Administrator Gary Hanson has already indicated WW said the funds are ours to utilize as needed. The update to the agreement would be made in Nov. Or Dec. and voted on. The matter of this cut and forest preserve cut has been discussed at committee meetings and the final change will also be voted on and discussed at open meeting. The public has had time to discuss it already and did at the last P and Z meeting and will during our board meeting.

    • Grace in the statement above it included things staying and going. Actual cuts are below and very minimal as I stated before. Remember we are making $1.5 million in cuts overall. E-waste collections are important which is why we organized an extra one in the past and negotiated lower drop off rates with DC Trash.

      Breakdown of cuts and partial cuts only
      Public Customer Service Level Maintained – Partial
      Event Coordination from the Solid Waste Specialist – Partial
      Community Policy Development – (Meet with Elected Officials, Municipal Staff, County Staff to Develop Policy Change) – Would not be done if position goes to part time status.
      Electronic Waste Collections will go from 3 to 2 with option to bring back 3rd event if needed.
      Shoe Share Collection – this would likely not remain and we would seek non profit in community to pick up this program.
      Composting at Corn Fest (Organic Recycling) – Will be held off from happening unless public private partnership can be formed.
      Pilot Educational Mini Grants to Enhance Recycling ($3,000) No- this will no longer happen.
      U of I Extension Contract – K-5 educational sessions ($17,000) No- we believe the coordinator can do this and volunteers (Absorbed Internally)
      HHW Supplement for Annual Collection ($5,000) will no longer happen
      Recycling Pilot for Multi-family properties ($5,000) Will no longer happen unless public private partnership.

    • I think you’re missing the point, Mark. You are cutting the above by transferring the host fees collected from Waste Management that are designated for the Solid Waste Recycling Program. That should require a public hearing and approval as an action item on the agenda of full county board meeting that should not take place until recommendations from the solid waste committee are obtained. Otherwise you will make cuts in service while using the designated funds for the general operating fund.

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