Commissioners Will Get An Earful On Landfill Today

Posted in Animal Shelter, Bad Government Republicans, Commissioners Court, Had Enough Yet?, Landfill, T. Don Hutto, Williamson County at 9:37 am by wcnews

AAS has this story up regarding today’s Commissioners Court meeting where the new landfill contract is on the agenda, Williamson landfill contract gets airing.

Williamson County commissioners will hear today what residents think about a proposed contract with the county’s landfill operator.

They shouldn’t expect ovations, according to three groups fighting the contract.

“I am really fed up trying to help the court solve anything,” said Orlynn Evans, head of Mount Hutto Aware Citizens. Evans’ concerns prompted the county last year to renegotiate its 2003 contract with Waste Management of Texas to get a better deal.

But the draft of a revised contract that was released last week did nothing to assuage concerns, Evans said.

Although county officials say it’s the best possible deal, Evans’ group, the Hutto Citizens Group and Texas Campaign for the Environment oppose the new contract.

“I will be asking them to not take action on the contract until the numerous flaws in the contract are corrected,” Evans said.

As will many, many others we can be sure. The Texas Campaign for the Environment was calling residents to invite them to today’s meeting. I know because I got one.

The Hutto Citizens Group has a couple of items to read for anyone that won’t be going to the meeting. They have an analysis [.PDF] of the current contract, as well as, a nice chart [.PDF] comparing the current and proposed contracts in Williamson County with two recent contracts negotiated under similar circumstances with WMI in Arlington and Temple. Looking at that chart, it becomes pretty obvious that this is a poorly negotiated contract, financially speaking at the least, despite what Jana Duty and Stephen Ackley say.

Expanding the landfill, which would yield millions of dollars for Waste Management, was a point of leverage that the county was prepared to use had the company resisted renegotiating the contract, County Attorney Jana Duty said in an e-mail.

“When the media and all the neighborhood groups began their attacks, it was very tempting to just say, ‘Screw this, we have a contract, we are done,’ ” Duty said. “But that would not have been what was in the best interest of the people of this county.”

The new contract is the best deal “considering the circumstances,” said Stephen Ackley, chief litigator in the county attorney’s office.

Among the changes: The contract now has an end date, in 40 years; Waste Management must immediately give the county $250,000 for park development; and trash is to be measured more reliably, in tons, not yards.

Wow! That makes all the bad stuff so much better. Making the corporation do what it should have been doing all along and for the millions they will make off this deal they’re kicking back a meager $250,000 for a park. The contract our “Mayberry Machiavellis” have hammered out doesn’t seem to be close to being in the best interest of the citizens of Williamson County.

Two other issues that the CC needs to hear about are the continuing problems at the WCRAS and it might be nice to mention to them how much money imprisoning Mothers and their babies is making for CCA.

Management revenue from federal customers increased $20.7 million, or 16.0%, to $150.0 million during the second quarter of 2007 from $129.3 million during the second quarter of 2006, as a result of higher inmate populations from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) and the U.S. Marshals Service (“USMS”). Federal revenues were positively impacted by a new management contract from ICE at our Stewart Detention Center that began receiving detainees in October 2006 and a full quarter impact of a new management contract at our T. Don Hutto Residential Center that became effective in May 2006. Additionally, federal revenues were favorably impacted by the backfilling of the vacated beds in our Florence Correctional Center with additional USMS detainees as a result of the commencement of operations at our new Red Rock Correctional Center in July 2006.

That new contract was unanimously approved by this court.

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