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Carter Budget Committee to recommend county transport its own garbage

John Thompson • Jul 9, 2018 at 9:17 PM

ELIZABETHTON — The Carter County Landfill could be entering into the solid waste hauling business.

No, don’t expect to see garbage trucks from the county pull up to your curb and empty your waste can. But a large truck that hauls 53-foot trailers to area landfills may one day be seen going down the highway with a Carter County logo on the door.

Landfill Manager Benny Lyons appeared before the Budget Committee of the Carer County Commission on Monday night to discuss a unique proposition that had already won unanimous approval from the Landfill Committee last week.

Lyons said he recently had a conversation with the owner of the company that now hauls household garbage from the county’s solid waste transfer station to the landfill contracted to bury the county’s refuse. Lyons said the owner told him that he is preparing to go out of business and offered to sell the truck and five trailers he currently uses to haul the county’s household garbage.

Lyons said the truck had high mileage, but the offer was an attractive one that could save the county about $1 million in 10 years. He said the truck transports the county’s garbage five days a week to the landfill in Sullivan County and makes four or five runs each day, Monday through Friday.

The Budget Committee liked Lyons’ explanation and offered praise in addition to a unanimous vote for the deal.

“He is lucky, and he finds the best deals for the county,” said Landfill Committee Chair Bobbie Gouge-Dietz. The committee will make the recommendation to the full Carter County Commission at the next scheduled meeting July 16.

The Budget Committee will also recommend a plan for a single point of entry to the Carter County Courthouse. That plan would cost approximately $600,000. The commission discussed several ways to pay the cost, but voted to recommend that $100,000 be taken from the county’s litigation fund and the remaining $500,000 should be borrowed from the county’s Debt Service Fund, to be reimbursed with 2 percent interest.

The committee also approved a proposal by Carter County Trustee Randal Lewis to increase the number of payments that property taxpayers may use to pay their annual taxes. Lewis said the commission approved his request a few years ago that allowed taxpayers to make up to four payments during the five-month tax period.

He said that proved to be a success, and he wanted to increase the number of allowable payments to 12. The committee voted 7-1 for the 12 payments, with Ronnie Trivett casting the lone dissenting vote.

Although the Budget Committee has already concluded its work on a proposed budget for the next fiscal year that includes a 9-cent property tax increase, the committee members took the opportunity to once again discuss the proposed budget.

Members said they had received a lot of comments from citizens, particularly the recommendation to cut funding to most outside agencies. Chairwoman Sonja Culler said that no matter what the Budget Committee recommends, she has always seen the commission decide on a different plan each year she has been on the commission.

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