• October 25, 2014

Killeen City Council briefed on goals, objectives of solid waste plan

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Posted: Wednesday, August 6, 2014 4:30 am

A firm hired to develop a solid waste master plan for Killeen is still working out the details of the document, but it presented the goals and objectives identified in the plan to the City Council during its Tuesday workshop meeting.

The council hired SCS Engineers in March to develop a master plan and rate model for $140,000.

The decision to hire the consulting firm came after a February consensus by the council in which the body agreed to allow City Manager Glenn Morrison to enter into contract negotiations with Balcones Resources for a proposed mandatory citywide single-stream recycling program.

The initiative would allow residents to put recyclables into one container rather than separating them before placing them curbside, as the existing voluntary curbside system requires.

Upon hiring SCS Engineers in March, Morrison said the plan would guide the city and give the council “better information” in regard to rolling out a mandatory or voluntary recycling program.

Jeff Arrington, a SCS Engineers representative, said the firm completed a “pretty extensive data-gathering phase” and is still wrapping up an evaluation of the city’s current system and moving into developing a rate study.

“One of the key aspects (of the plan) is to develop some broad goals that (the city) can achieve over a time frame that is reasonable,” he said. “Our first goal is for the city to continue providing the services it has and achieve a high level of customer satisfaction.”

Perhaps the most lucrative part of the study is a recycling initiative.

Arrington said because the city doesn’t have a landfill and waste has to be processed and transferred to other areas, one goal is to establish a process that would increase the city’s diversion rate.

“(The firm is) looking at minimizing how much you have to process through the transfer station,” he said. “That will allow the city to avoid those costs and achieve some higher recycling (participation).”

Arrington said the firm is looking at “a number of ways” to achieve that, one being single-stream recycling.

He said the firm already has evaluated the city’s original single-stream proposal, which was presented to the council earlier this year and included a potentially mandatory system and an increase in garbage can size — the city currently allows residents to choose one of three can sizes.

Arrington said the firm also is evaluating the city’s current voluntary curbside system and how participation in the program could be increased. He said incentives also are being considered in the development of the plan.

“We are looking at all the ways (the city) can enhance the current system and develop (plans) that would allow the city to make some decisions,” he said.

Councilman Jonathan Okray said he would still like to see recycling options go before the voters.

“I don’t think seven people should make that decision,” he said.

Arrington said a rate model should be ready to be presented to the council sometime next month with the plan to follow afterward.

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2 comments:

  • Max67 posted at 1:02 pm on Wed, Aug 6, 2014.

    Max67 Posts: 63

    Alvin I agree, nothing was brought to the table! What is the bottom line in numbers to the taxpayers?! What type of benefits will there be overall and what will these costs entail?
    Just like the Water and Sewer Fund that has had NO RATE Study but has managed to SPEND DOWN the Actual Ending Fund Balance in the last year couple of years from an estimated ACTUAL $25 million in 2012 to a Proposed $13 Million in 2014. That is over a 52% decline in an Ending Fund Balance.
    Why is nobody questioning the tremendous allocation or W&S transfer to GF?

    What type of W&S rates are proposed to the tax payers and capital improvement proposals or projections for the next five, ten, fifteen up to thirty years?!

    The answer is no one is watching any of the funds because of the level of competency of your Parks and Recreation City Manager and why is there no recommendation from Finance to do otherwise other than draw down the funds?
    The W&S fund is obviously being used as a plug for the General Fund to barely meet fund balance policy that should already be considered to be at the crisis level.

     
  • Alvin posted at 7:52 am on Wed, Aug 6, 2014.

    Alvin Posts: 207

    Well I've read the article as presented and I personally feel it says a whole lot of 'NOTHING'. In that light I am forced to agree with councilman Jonathan Okray that the members of this council, all 7 of them, are NOT QUALIFIED to make a decision representing Millions of dollars of cost to the city at large. I fervently hope that the simple majority, if not all of them, of the councilmen/woman feel the same way. Lets send it to the city for a vote.
    Now as I understand this article, the city gave permission, to the city manager last February or March, to enter into contract negotiations with Balcones Resources. So that poses the question, was the contract negotiation with Balcones Resources contingent upon hiring the engineering firm, SCS Engineers or did the Balcones Research firm enter into this contract on their on? I tend to read this explanation in this newspaper.
    Copy: 'The decision to hire the consulting firm came after a February consensus by the council in which the body agreed to allow City Manager Glenn Morrison to enter into contract negotiations with Balcones Resources for a proposed mandatory citywide single-stream recycling program.' End of copy.
    Now the balance of the statements, I personally feel, say NOTHING, Copied from the article: 'the firm completed a “pretty extensive data-gathering phase” and is still wrapping up an evaluation of the city’s current system and moving into developing a rate study, “One of the key aspects (of the plan) is to develop some broad goals that (the city) can achieve over a time frame that is reasonable,” he said. “Our first goal is for the city to continue providing the services it has and achieve a high level of customer satisfaction.”, Perhaps the most lucrative part of the study is a recycling initiative. Arrington said because the city doesn’t have a landfill and waste has to be processed and transferred to other areas, one goal is to establish a process that would increase the city’s diversion rate. “(The firm is) looking at minimizing how much you have to process through the transfer station,” he said. “That will allow the city to avoid those costs and achieve some higher recycling (participation).” Arrington said the firm is looking at “a number of ways” to achieve that, one being single-stream recycling. End of copy.
    As I have said, in my personal opinion, this article says NOTHING. This company has bee 'on the job' for approximately 5 to 6 months. What would be the estimated completion at this point in time? What can this company bring to the council as a basis for, or against, augmenting a case for this study? What has the city manager, as the one who is responsible, asked for and caused to bring forth, as substantiating documentation? After 5 or 6 months, I would think that an engineering company would have formed, and documented, 'some' conclusions. These are all questions I personally feel the council should be asking.
    As I've stated earlier, I personally think that this presentation 'IS A SMOKE SCREEN' developed to cloud the issue and members of the city council. But who am to say.
    Maybe it should be noted that the city of Cove 'seems to have a viable plan already in service, and it's free.
    One of the 1 % who voted

     

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