(Note: Meeting minutes are always one month behind. Only approved minutes are published)
Approved at the February 25, 2014 meeting
Flathead County Solid Waste District
Board of Directors Meeting
January 28, 2014 - 3:00 p.m.
- Roll Call
Board Members present: Greg Acton, Vice Chair; Gary Krueger, County Commissioner; John Helton, Member at Large; Wayne Miller, Board of Health; Susan Nicosia, City of Columbia Falls and Alan Ruby, Member at Large.
District Staff present: Public Works Director Dave Prunty, Operations Manager Jim Chilton and Recording Secretary Deborah Morine.
Attendees: Paul Mutascio, Greg Schroeder, Caleb Soptelean, Scott Shreves, Mayre Flowers, Julie Laing, Jill Gotschalk and Lynette Hintze.
- Introductory Remarks from Chairman
Greg Acton led the meeting and wished everyone a Happy New Year.
- Comments from public
There were no comments from the public.
- Program Updates from Non-Profits
Mayre Flowers updated the Board and invited them to the Recycle More in the Flathead workshop that will be held on January 30th at the Flathead Valley Community College. There will be presentations, short films and a panel discussion regarding recycling. Dave Prunty will be on the panel representing Flathead County. She also informed the Board that Target has reduced their recycling efforts down to just glass. The public hasn’t been sorting materials properly which contaminates the commodity. Mayre would like to raise public awareness that sorting is key to successful recycling. She also reported that the Recycling in the Flathead brochure is being updated.
Mayre reminded the Board of the Septage Bioreactor Landfill Workshop that will be held on February 24th – 26th. She hopes that as many Board members as possible can come to the workshop. She asked that if the Board has any specific questions to please let her know so she can get those to the consultants prior to the workshop. There will also be an overview given at the February 25th board meeting. Ric Thompson from Montana DEQ and Mike Cullinane from SWT Engineering will also be present at next month’s board meeting.
Wayne Miller: going back to recycling, asked if single stream recycling could be offered in this area in the future. Dave explained that there is significant capital investment for a single stream facility and it would be years into the future before this area could support that type of recycling system. Wayne asked if recyclables from our area are shipped to Spokane. Scott Shreves said the commodities are shipped to whichever vendor gives the best return. Currently recyclables are shipped to Salt Lake City.
Mayre continued to report that from mid-February through June, the school presentations and landfill tours will be in full swing. Also, the Waste Not Project is working on updating their website.
John Helton asked Mayre how the e-waste recycling was working for Pacific Steel & Recycling. Mayre reported that it is working well, but doesn’t have any tonnage reports. She also stated that Best-Buy and Staples offer e-waste recycling as well.
Greg said that the City of Whitefish had problems with recycling bins being contaminated with commodities improperly sorted.
- Approval of the Board Meeting Minutes for November 26, 2013 – Action Required
Susan Nicosia moved to approve the minutes of November 26, 2014. Wayne Miller seconded. Motion passed.
- Action Agenda
- Election of Chair and Vice-Chair for 2014 – Action Required
The District’s By-Laws require the election of a Chair and Vice-Chair in January or February each year.
Wayne Miller moved to postpone the action until the February meeting.
Those in favor of postponing the action: John Helton and Alan Ruby. Those Opposed: Gary Krueger and Susan Nicosia. Greg Acton voted to postpone the action until the February meeting. Motion passed.
- Award of Refuse Truck Bid – Action Required
The District received bids for a new truck chassis and refuse body on December 20, 2013. Two bids were received, however, one bid was deemed non-responsive by not including a bid bond. After discussions with the County Attorney’s Office we were directed to proceed forward as if this bid was never received. We also included a trade in with the bid for a 2002 Volvo chassis with a Wittke refuse body. The trade in value for our truck is $4,300. We compared the purchase price to the last truck we purchased in 2010 from Montana Peterbilt. There is a 5.6% increase since then for this bid from Montana Peterbilt. The budget includes $300,000 for this purchase. The bids are as follows:
Montana Peterbilt $260,527.00 less $4,300 = $256,227.00
Transport Equipment non-responsive…no bid
John Helton moved to award the bid to Montana Peterbilt for the purchase of one new refuse truck in the amount of $256,227.00, including trade in, and authorize the Public Works Director to execute the purchase documents. Alan Ruby seconded. Motion passed
- Director’s Report
- Bigfork Container Site
The Bigfork committee submitted a report to staff with their ideas of what the consultants should include in their work on the revisions to the Strategic Plan for the District’s container site program. That report was forwarded to the Consultants, Board and the Commissioners. It is also included in your board packet.
The Board voted in July, 2013 to extend the time line regarding consolidation of the Bigfork site until the end of January, 2014 for the Bigfork Committee to come up with alternatives to closure. Other than the report discussed above there has not been any other activity with the group since the last board meeting. Staff has discussed with them their report and the crafting of the Scope of Work for the Consultants. This issue will be on the February agenda for the Board to discuss and provide direction to staff.
Wayne asked if the Board already decided to close some of the greenbox sites prior to the Strategic Plan. Greg stated that the District was faced with staffing the sites which is one of the major issues driving the consolidation. He added, that the process was altered as Kila and Marion were consolidated into the West Corridor site and there’s a new (consolidated) site in Essex. Alan pointed out that the Strategic Plan is a guideline.
- Revisions to the Strategic Report for the Flathead County Landfill
Staff has reviewed a Scope of Work prepared by CH2M Hill for this work. Comments were provided to Mike Cullinane with SWT and a conference call was held with both firms. Travis Pyle, with CH2, was going to make revisions and provide a second draft for review. One of the interesting work tasks we have been discussing is the desire to have a survey that is given to our customers at the container sites. This survey is intended to gage interest of the site users on the dynamics of the proposed consolidation. We hope to utilize contract labor forces at the sites for a few days per site to get opinions from our customer base regarding the potential changes to the system.
As soon as this proposal is finalized staff will provide it to the Board. The Bigfork group has said they are also interested in seeing the proposal when it is finalized. Another of the early tasks in the project will be to hold a scoping meeting with a stakeholders group. Staff is interested in any ideas the Board may have on the participants in this group. Staff has discussed it with the Bigfork group and one of their members would certainly be included. Others could include a Solid Waste Board member, a Commissioner; a Lakeside interested citizen, a member from Citizens for a Better Flathead, one or more of the local haulers etc. This work could have an impact on the work tasks of the project but will also help the consultants so that any specific task can be refined or modified.
Gary stated that the Commissioners would like to meet with the consultant.
Wayne stated that he would be willing to be a Board representative in the stakeholders group.
There were general discussion regarding private haulers and recycling companies being part of the stakeholders. Susan pointed out that we don’t want the group to be too stacked toward recycling as the purpose is to focus on what direction the District should take regarding container sites and waste handling.
- Essex Container Site Construction Project
At the last meeting staff informed the Board of a payment issue on the Essex Container Site project between the general contractor PaveCo and their subcontractor Master Blaster, who performed the blasting of the bedrock wall on the sites western perimeter. At that time the District had not released all of the final payment to PaveCo. After discussions with PaveCo and Master Blaster attorney’s and the County Attorney’s Office the District released that payment, less $2,090 (discussed below). Along with that payment the District was assured in writing by PaveCo that we would not be liable for any costs or awards to the subcontractor. The District is holding the Payment and Performance Bond that is required in the contract documents.
There also was an agreement to pay 48 North Engineering for their services trying to resolve this issue. 48 North had amassed a $2,090 bill for labor working on this contract issue. The District paid that invoice and then PaveCo received a check from 48 North for $1,045. In the end the District paid the contracted amount for the project 48 North agreed to half of their extra labor expenses and PaveCo ended up $1,045 less than the contracted amount for the project.
We will continue to monitor the issue between PaveCo and their subcontractor. The Payment and Performance Bond is the ultimate security the District will utilize if necessary to make sure all parties are satisfied.
- Request for Proposals – Groundwater Monitoring Services
The District’s contract with Hydrometrics, Inc. to provide groundwater monitoring services ends in March, 2014. Staff has prepared and advertised a Request for Proposals to provide these services for the next contract (five years). The responses are due on January 31st. Staff is working to organizing a four person review committee to evaluate the responses. Jim and Dave will be on the committee and Dave has asked Mark Campbell, Fair Grounds manager, if he would be part of the committee. Staff would like to know if there is a board member who would like to be on the review team. We can easily have another member from the County management team but wanted to check if any Board member is interested.
It is staff’s intention to have a recommendation of award at the February meeting.
- Landfill Expansion Property Acquisition
We have closed on five properties in the landfill expansion area. The five properties are: Rathbun ($248k), Sweet ($245k), Hunt ($265k), Sullivan ($290k) and Puryer ($191k). A map is included in your packet showing these properties. We are scheduled to close on the Farrell property for $220k on January 24th. The Donk/Olson property will close on January 30, 2014 at a purchase price of $280k. We were working on a short sale for another property but their lender declined to proceed forward. They are interested in selling but may need to wait for the market to increase to an acceptable level for them to move forward. The Hedstrom property requested an appraisal be performed so hopefully, they will be interested after receiving that information.
- Landfill Liner Installation Project
SWT Engineering has prepared the plans and specifications for the installation of the Phase 4B liner project this summer. This is the final liner installation for the North Area Landfill. Staff has reviewed the plans and final revisions are being made before the plans are submitted, along with the project specifications and design report, to the MT DEQ for review. It is believed there will be a speedy review at DEQ and then we’ll look to have a bid letting and job walk in February or March. Construction won’t start until mid-June but there is time needed for the liner producer to build the high density polyethylene (HDPE) liner and other related products used in the liner.
- Rescheduling of March Board Meeting
The March meeting is scheduled for March 25th. Dave will be in Great Falls for the annual MT Association of County Road Superintendents conference. Jim will be on vacation that week as well. If the Board is amenable to rescheduling, it is staff’s desire to move the meeting forward one week to April 1st at 3 p.m. We will have this on the February action agenda assuming the Board’s concurrence.
The Board was in favor of moving the March meeting. It will appear on the February Agenda as an action item.
- Refuse Operations
Operations proceeded well for the month. Tonnage/Volumes are shown below:
Total MSW to landfill 7,628.95 6,677.24
Total Appliances Collected 379 288
Junk Vehicles Collected 3 3
Truck Trips to Container Sites 426 432
Refuse tons/trip 6.56 5.82
The District landfilled 3.6% more waste in November, 2013 as compared to November, 2012 and our refuse trucks hauled 6.1% less waste comparing the same time frame.
The District landfilled 7.9% more waste in December, 2013 as compared to December, 2012 and our refuse trucks hauled 0% more waste comparing the same time frame.
Gate revenue for fiscal year 2014 was projected at $800,000. Through December we have received $1,072,861.03 or 134.11% of revenue through 50% of the fiscal year. This increase in gate revenue is attributable to the Montana Department of Transportation project in Whitefish which generated a sizeable volume of contaminated soils brought to the landfill.
Alan stated the Gas to Energy system is producing1.2 to 1.3 megawatts and Flathead Electric Co-op is looking into the possibility of adding a generator in a year or two. Alan also said the relationship between FEC and FCSW has been great.
There were discussions during this time regarding a caustic byproduct Soloxane that may be produced in abundance while bioreacting septage that is damaging to the engine turning the generator which would require it to be serviced more often.
There were general discussions regarding the benefit of septage bioreacting vs. land spreading septic waste which can introduce nitrogen loading to the groundwater.
John Helton inquired about the air quality permit for the landfill. Dave stated that responsibility is on Flathead Electric Co-op as part of the Gas to Energy agreement.
Jim reviewed the picture taken at the Bigfork site on December 26th which shows the “after Christmas” mess. He said this is typical at the ungated sites.
Wayne said he’d been to the Creston site recently and noticed it now has two recycle containers. Jim stated these are the reconfigured bins we’re now using at Somers, Creston and the landfill.
A member of the public said perhaps the District should advertise they will have reduced pick-up prior to Christmas and ask the public to comply.
- Budget and Financials
Dave reviewed the Budget and Financials with the Board.
- Comments from Board Members
Wayne Miller thanked staff for adding lighting at the entrance of the Somers site.
John Helton asked if there had been any more needles found in the landfill plastic. Jim stated that the last load had 3 needles.
Wayne said that he believes whoever is placing the needles in the container might not read English. He is looking into having someone translate “no needles” to Russian so we can have a sign made.
Jim asked Scott Shreve how long Valley Recycling would continue to keep plastic recycling at the landfill if the needle problem won’t go away. Scott said they will continue service and have trained employees to be watchful for contamination. Dave said he is reluctant to continue service if the contamination won’t stop.
Greg asked Scott if they are still picking up recycling at Albertson and Super 1. Scott said Valley Recycling is still servicing them, but the District is no longer paying for them as per the contract.
The meeting was adjourned 4:50 p.m.