By Gary Nelson
Senior staff writer
Cumberland County has been initially approved to receive two grants from the state for the county's solid waste and sanitation department. One of the grants totaling $300,000 will go toward building and implementing a single-stream recycling line.
During December's Cumberland County Commission meeting the commission approved a motion to suspend the rules and add a motion for accepting the grants and allowing Cumberland County Mayor Kenneth Carey Jr. to sign and file the paperwork on behalf of the county.
Mike Harvel, 7th District commissioner and employee of the county's solid waste and recycling department, told the commission that the county had gotten notification from the state they were approved for two grants, but would need to have the paperwork taken care of and remitted back to the state by Jan. 4, 2013.
The other grant is a $20,000 grant for the purchase of a new forklift for the recycling center.
"We have the congratulations letter that we've been approved, but we just have to finish the paperwork and complete everything by the fourth of January," Harvel said.
Harvel made a presentation to the county's environmental committee last October and the committee authorized Harvel authority to pursue the single-stream recycling line project and to apply for the grants.
Harvel and Tom Breeden, Cumberland County Solid Waste director, estimated
the cost to be roughly $734,000 to get the program started, including the purchase of all the equipment and the building to house the line.
The building will be located where the current recycling facility is on Maryetta St. in Crossville.
Harvel said the grants from the state would cover a large portion of the project — leaving the county to pay for the remaining $419,000.
However, the remaining funds to cover the cost of setting up the facility and program are available in the county's solid waste department's fund balance.
Harvel told the committee he and Breeden were hoping to start the program without any borrowed money and using county inmates for sorting recyclables on the conveyor line.
"It really is a win-win for the county. We're going to save more money in tipping fees and produce more revenue for the county by having more recyclables," Harvel said.
In October Harvel and Breeden gave a rough, low estimate that once the single-stream line is established, it could net the county nearly $400,000 revenue in sales of recyclable materials and save roughly $124,000 in tipping fees for a total savings of more than $500,000.
Harvel said he and Breeden plan to work with Fairfield Glade, the city of Crossville and other communities to possibly implement a curbside recycling pickup program as well.
Second District commissioner Nancy Hyder moved to allow Cumberland County Mayor Kenneth Carey Jr. to sign and accept the grants on behalf of the county and to proceed with the grant process.
It was supported by Dave Hassler, 3rd District commissioner, and approved unanimously. Harvel abstained from the vote citing his employment with the county's solid waste department.
Both grants are from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).
Harvel is scheduled to make a presentation about the program to the county's budget committee during its meeting Jan. 8 at 4:30 p.m. in the Cumberland County Courthouse in the small courtroom. The public is welcome to attend.
County commissioners Johnny Presley, 3rd District, and Larry Allen, 6th District, did not attend the meeting.