Meeting Minutes

(Note:  Meeting minutes are always one month behind.  Only approved minutes are published)

Approved at the March 17, 2015 meeting 

Flathead County Solid Waste District
Board of Directors Meeting
February 24, 2015 - 3:00 p.m.
Landfill Office

  • Roll Call

Board Members present:  Greg Acton, Chairman; John Helton, Member at Large; Gary Krueger, County Commissioner; Wayne Miller, Board of Health; Susan Nicosia, City of Columbia Falls; Hank Olson, City of Kalispell.  Absent:  Alan Ruby, Vice Chairman. 

District Staff present:  Public Works Director Dave Prunty, Operations Manager Jim Chilton and Recording Secretary Deborah Morine. 

Attendee:  Mayre Flowers

  • Introductory Remarks from Chairman

Greg thanked everyone for attending and noted Alan Ruby was absent.

  • Comments from public

There were no comments.

  • Program Updates from Non-Profits

Mayre Flowers update the Board on the following:

  • Distributed a flier which promotes upcoming recycle classes and classroom presentations.  Classroom presentation will reach 16 schools and up to 2,700 students and have a waiting list for more if time allows. 
  • During the month of February the WasteNot Project has teamed up with Kettle Care Organics (a locally owned natural skin care product business) whereby they will contribute 20% of the sale of their products to WasteNot Project.  
  • Applying for a grant from Keep America Beautiful for recycle bins that will be permanently located at the Flathead County Fairgrounds for events use.
  • Working on common language with the recycling centers who have differing sorting needs to find language consistent with the County’s on our recyclable materials .
  • Will have a booth/table at the Mini Maker Fair at the College promoting the Fix-it Flathead.  
  • Jim is working on finalizing a date for the Small Business Hazardous Waste event.  

Gary Krueger asked what age/grades are the classroom presentations geared toward.  Mayre stated all ages from kindergarten to middle school. 

Susan Nicosia asked if Mayre has offered the recycling totes for use at the local Farmer’s Markets.   She offered to have Mayre utilize them at the Columbia Falls Farmer’s Market during the summer months.  Susan updated that Xantera is teaming with New World Recycling and is accepting glass recycling at their facility in Columbia Falls.

  • Approval of the Board Meeting Minutes for January 27, 2015  – Action Required

Wayne Miller asked that the Chair – Vice-Chair motion be corrected in the January minutes to reflect “motion to close nominations by Wayne Miller and seconded by John Helton”.  

Hank Olson moved to adopt the minutes for the January 27, 2015 meeting with changes.  Susan Nicosia seconded.  Motion passed.

  • Action Agenda
    • Award of Refuse Truck Bid  – Action Required 

The District solicited bids for one new refuse truck chassis and refuse body.  Two bids were received from Transport Equipment (Mack Trucks) and Montana Peterbilt.  The bids are shown below: 

       Transport Equipment                                              $263,526.00

       Montana Peterbilt                                                   $265,214.00 

Both companies provided a trade-in value for the truck we will be replacing of $4,300.  The costs above include that trade-in value.  Included in your packet is a list of exceptions from both companies where they did not meet our bid specs.  Transport Equipment had many more exceptions and some very major issues.  Mainly, any service needed on their truck would be performed in Missoula whether we were able to drive the truck there or have it towed.  After discussions with the County Attorney’s Office we are recommending that Transport Equipment be deemed non-responsive and the bid awarded to Montana Peterbilt.  The exceptions from both companies marked on the refuse body are identical because the refuse body is provided by Solid Waste Systems out of Spokane.  These exceptions are minor. 

Hank Olson moved to Award the bid for one new refuse truck to Montana Peterbilt in the amount of $265,214.00 and accept the trade-in of $4,300.  John Helton seconded.  Motion passed.

    • Change of March Board Meeting Date – Action Required 

As discussed at the January meeting Dave has a conflict with the scheduled March 24th meeting date.  Dave asks the Board to move the meeting forward one week to March 17th so he can go on vacation with his family. 

Hank Olson moved to change the March 24th, 2015 meeting of the Solid Waste Board of Directors to March 17th, 2015 at 3 p.m.  John Helton seconded.  Motion passed.

  • Director’s Report
    • Strategic Plan DRAFT Revision – Chapter 5 

Staff completed a conference call with the consultants on February 6th to discuss the comments on the draft of Chapter 5 of the District’s Strategic Plan (SP).  Susan Nicosia provided some comments also that were incorporated into the final draft.  A track changes copy is provided to you at the meeting which should make it easier to review.  We will provide a final cleaned up copy to everyone after the February meeting. 

After we complete our Engineering RFP we’ll look to start on the project to revise the complete document in Fiscal Year 2016. 

Dave stated there a few minor revisions before finalizing the document and discussed those items with the board.

    • Facility Engineering Services Request for Proposals 

The informational job walk for the RFP occurred on February 20th.  Proposals are due to the office on February 27th.  Debbie Pierson, our Clerk and Recorder, along with Jim and me will be the review team.  We have had very good interest in the solicitation at this point.  Multiple firms within Montana have inquired and a few out of state firms have also contacted staff.

    • 2014 Fiscal Year Solid Waste District Report 

Staff has completed the annual report summarizing operations and projects for the District.  It is included in your packet.  We’ve provided it to the Commissioners, County Library, City Managers, City Councils, and Chamber of Commerce (Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls, and Bigfork).  I want to thank our office staff for their work on this document.  Multiple hours go into its production and without their help it would be easily dismissed.

    • Refuse Operations 

Operations proceeded well for the month.  Tonnage/Volumes are shown below: 


                            Total MSW to landfill                                             6,634.68

                            Total Appliances Collected                                             473

                            Junk Vehicles Collected                                                     0

                            Truck Trips to Container Sites                                       413

                             Refuse tons/trip                                                            5.69 

The District landfilled 2.5% more waste in January, 2015 as compared to January, 2014 and our refuse trucks hauled 2.6% more waste comparing the same time frame. 

Gate revenue for fiscal year 2015 was projected at $900,000.  Through January we received $668,889 or 74.3% of revenue through 58% of the fiscal year.

We have been dealing with a leachate situation with the early spring and the volume of snow on the Phase 4B liner.  It was designed to hold back as much of the clean water as possible with a sewer pipe pig and a pumping system to remove the water as clean storm water.  We’ve pumped all of the surface water and removed what is possible with a pipe that was installed during construction in the leachate gravel layer.  There are still thousands of gallons of water in the system.  We’ve had a quid pro quo with the City of Columbia Falls to take their biosolids and we use them from leachate disposal when the need arose.  They have a concern with their plant functioning properly due to the ammonia levels in our material.  We’ve reduced the amount that is being hauled to them and are injecting the leachate in our lines in the waste prism built by Flathead Electric Coop.  We’ll continue to work with the City and so far they are allowing us to bleed in a few loads when they believe their system can handle them. 

Jim said the roving container site monitor will begin a rotating schedule so they can monitor the sites on random days and not a set pattern.  Jim stated the Bigfork and Lakeside sites are staying very clean and we are collecting more metals since staffing the sites.   

There were discussions regarding advertising recycling (billboard) and Greg stated since the change in the District’s recycling process, the City of Whitefish collection of aluminum has dropped as people are turning to the unattended recycle areas in Whitefish picking through the recycling.  

Dave mentioned since the Pawn Shop on the corner of the highway is for sale, perhaps the District should consider purchasing the property.  Dave also stated the Bigfork property is nearly ready to purchase.      

    • Budget and Financials 

The budget and financials were reviewed.

  • Comments from Board Members

There were no further comments.

  • Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 4:19 p.m.