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November 4, 2012

Clark-Floyd Landfill looking for Jeffersonville to keep it local

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Among several other deals that are pending between Clark County and the city of Jeffersonville is an agreement that could cost all of the county taxpayers if it goes bad.

In 2011, Clark County agreed to issue bonds for $9.1 million to help expand the Clark-Floyd Landfill, LLC and install a slurry wall — a requirement deemed necessary by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

According to an agreement in place with the city of Jeffersonville, the city was to take all of its solid waste to the Clark-Floyd Landfill. However, the city stopped taking its trash to the landfill last year under the previous administration.

Subsequently, the exclusive agreement between the city and the landfill expired Dec. 31, 2011.

Why did the city pull out?

According to city officials, Jeffersonville stopped taking trash to the Clark-Floyd Landfill because of repeated damage to vehicles when they were dumping.

Councilmen Dennis Julius and Mike Smith said the issues included popped tires, broken axles and trucks getting stuck in the mud at the landfill. Both said the issues have since been resolved, but the city is no longer obligated to take its waste to the Clark-Floyd Landfill.

“The deal has expired, but there was a contract in place prior to the new administration coming into office,” said City Attorney Les Merkley.

But because the city was not taking all of its trash to the landfill in 2011, there has been a threat of a lawsuit.

“It was supposed to be an exclusive contract,” said County Attorney Greg Fifer.

And the city is not interested in re-entering a deal because of the cost savings that it has gained by not taking its trash to the Clark-Floyd Landfill.

“It was quite a bit more expensive to take it to Clark-Floyd,” said Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore.

He said to take the city’s trash to Louisville it was $3.25 cheaper. In addition, the maintenance costs for the city’s damaged vehicles was also factored into what Moore said was about $60,000 in savings annually.

“It was more than just the price per ton,” he said.

Smith agreed that the rate needs to be competitive in order for the city to keep its waste in Clark County.

“Over the year, and the tonnage, that’s a lot of dollars,” he said. “I think it needs to be competitive.”

The larger implication for the city and the landfill is whether or not without Jeffersonville’s revenue, the landfill could cover its bond debt obligations.

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