By Gary Nelson
Senior staff writer
The Cumberland County Budget Committee approved changes in the single stream recycling project that include the purchase of property adjacent to the county's recycling center, providing the property appraises at or above the purchase amount.
Mike Harvel, 7th District commissioner and recycling director for Cumberland County, said purchasing the property would keep the county from being landlocked and unable to grow in the future.
"We're going to put this single stream line in either way, but if we can get this property, we'll have room to expand in the future. If we don't, after we build the new building in back we won't have room to go no where. If we want to expand, we'll have to move the whole operation," Harvel said.
The subject originally came up during last month's budget committee meeting. The county is in the middle of applying for a grant from the state for creating a recycling hub facility and single stream recycling line.
Cumberland County Mayor Kenneth Carey Jr. said the property owner came forward and was willing to sell property near the recycling center at a reasonable amount of money.
"The grant we are applying for would allow the change. The grant is OK. They will need to approve some additional documents and it would be about 60 days, but we've got to let them know," Harvel said.
The property is on Marietta St. directly next to the recycling center and includes a 25,000 square-foot building that Harvel says could easily be converted and used for the recycling program.
Harvel said the property is 2.11 acres and includes the building for roughly $700,000.
"It would be double the square footage of the building that we were going to build for the single stream site," Harvel said.
Carey was to get an option on the property and negotiate the price.
Carmin Lynch, 9th District commissioner, asked Harvel about the property.
"How much is the price of the property?"
"It's in the $660,000 range," Harvel said.
Carey told the committee the county had a 90-day option with a 90-day renewal.
Harvel explained the cost of the purchase of the property and facility would be $660,000, a new auto-tie bailer would be $170,000, new fork lifts would be $34,000 and the construction and new conveyor belt line would be $75,000 and the dumping building for trucks to dump the recyclables would be $30,000 for a grand total of $969,000.
"I told you all that it would cost around $1 million to set up the single stream line," Harvel said.
For funding sources to cover the cost, Harvel explained the grant from the state was for $320,000 and the remaining $649,000 could come from the solid waste/sanitation department's fund balance.
Harvel reported the beginning fund balance for the sanitation fund was $1.365 million as of July 2012. Taking the $649,000 from that fund balance would leave roughly $716,615 in the fund balance.
"If you want an appraisal on the property that's what we'll do. I got the value of the property tax and that is $3,665," Harvel said.
Harvel and Mayor Carey explained that if the county purchases the adjacent property, the building on that property could be used for the single stream program and there would be "plenty of room left over."
Dave Hassler, 3rd District commissioner, said, "The county is growing and once this property sells, we're locked in where we are at. If we expand we'll have to move. We have an opportunity to ensure we can stay where we are."
Allen Foster, 4th District commissioner, made a motion to approve the change on the grant application and OK it if an appraisal on the property came back at the value or above.
It was supported by John Kinnunen, 9th District commissioner, but failed because several commissioners do not want to have the added expense of paying for a new appraisal.
Nancy Hyder, 2nd District commissioner, then moved the same motion only using the property's previous appraisal if it is within one year old.
Hassler, supported the motion and it was unanimously approved.
Harvel, who is the budget committee's vice chair, chaired the meeting because Harry Sabine, 1st District commissioner and budget committee chair, did not attend the meeting.
Jeff Brown, 8th District commissioner, did not attend the meeting as well.
The single stream recycling program should generate more revenue according to Harvel and will save the county money on tipping fees.
According to Harvel, the program will allow residents to place all recyclables into one container, which will be brought to the recycling center, dumped into an area and then sorted and separated on a conveyor belt by county inmates on work duty.
Harvel and Solid Waste Director Tom Breeden are also working on partnerships with the city of Crossville, Fairfield Glade and other communities to have them implement recycling programs.
The Cumberland County Recycling Center would work as a hub in Crossville.