Papers Reporting That County Is Close To A Deal On The Williamson County Landfill

Posted in Landfill, Williamson County at 10:58 am by wcnews

Last week the Taylor Daily Press reported, New landfill contract close, and now the AAS, County is close to landfill deal, had articles up about the imminent “new” deal that will be struck between the county and Waste Management (WMI) in regards to the county’s landfill. One of the main issues citizens have with the deal is that they be given a “meaningful opportunity for input” in the process. From the articles above it’s doubtful that will happen.

Copies of the new contract will be available to the public a few days before the Commissioners Court votes on it. County commissioners and attorneys have been discussing the negotiations in private executive session, as allowed by state law.

Previously, County Judge Dan A. Gattis tentatively said that commissioners would vote on a new contract by June 22. That has been pushed back to the end of July, at the latest.

A few days is not a “meaningful opportunity”.

This is a renegotiation of a less than perfect deal worked out by former county commissioner Frankie Limmer, from this AAS article of 2006:

At a time when available landfill space is becoming an increasingly valuable com- modity, Williamson County is earning only a fraction of what some cities reap for their taxpayers when awarding contracts to private companies to manage their public dumps.


Frankie Limmer, the Williamson County commissioner who negotiated the deal with Waste Management, didn’t return phone calls. Williamson County Judge John Doerfler, who also signed the county’s deals with Waste Management, says he only recently became aware of how much money other municipalities were making compared with Williamson County. “We’re looking into it,” Doerfler said.

As EOW came to find out, the county’s only concern seems to making up for Limmer’s bad, for the county, financial deal. Â Over the past week EOW has been getting familiar with this issue. There is not greater single source of information to “get up to speed” than the web site for the Hutto Citizens Group. There is another group that was started because of this as well, the Mount Hutto Aware Citizens - their name comes from the fact that under the new deal the lanfill’s height could grow to make it the tallest point in Williamson County.

Here’s a quick summary of some of the issues that have come up during this process:

  • The overall expansion size of the new contract (from 202 acres to 575) and the height (from 70 to 140 feet, there’s speculation it could be up to 700 feet).
  • That the landfill not become a regional facility.
  • There has been no competition, competitive bidding, in this process. Only a renegotiation deal with WMI has been part of the process.
  • A possible illegal land donation, Quitclaim Deed, from 1995 has come to light. It brings up questions about whether the county is being held hostage by WMI.
  • Secrecy of the renegotiation process, completely shutting out the citizens of the county from the process.

This is an important issue and all that the county seems to be worried about is how much more money they can get out of Waste Management in the renegotiation. While fixing the bad financial deal Frankie Limmer cut is obviously an issue, as noted above, it’s definitely not the only one.

The county’s actions of secrecy and shutting out the citizens, especially those that live nearby, make it appear that the county is trying to hide something. EOW has taken on the one-party, unaccountable government in this county from it’s beginning. It’s one of the main reasons for it’s creation. Nothing proves this point more than the actions of the county in dealing with the landfill. Stay tuned, EOW will be going more in depth on this in the future.

1 Comment »

  1. Eye on Williamson » New No-Bid Contract For Landfill Ignores Citizens Concerns said,

    August 6, 2007 at 10:21 am

    […] county is using as it’s excuse, for not opening the contract up to bidding, the horrible contract former Commissioner Frankie Limmer originally negotiated for the county. They purport they can’t open the contract for bids as long as it’s […]

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