OUR MISSION: To inform, support, unite and promote the residents of Jefferson and Glascock counties.

Top Stories
April 22, 2004 Issue

A grisly reminder...
A reminder to Thomas Jefferson Academy students on the dangers of drinking and driving came Friday as students took part in a mock traffic accident. Participants included Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Rural Metro ambulance and Louisville Fire and Police departments.










Other Top Stories
Qualifying opens in county races
Commission explores landfill alternatives

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Qualifying opens in county races

Primary will be held July 20 and the general election on Nov. 2

By Ben Nelms
Staff Writer

The 2004 election cycle is rapidly approaching with a multitude in terms expiring in Jefferson and Glascock counties. The qualifying period for all contests will be held April 26-30.

Jefferson County seats up for election include the offices for county commission chairman, District 2 and 4 commissioners, the District 2 and 4 school board seats, sheriff, coroner, probate judge, magistrate judge, clerk of Superior Court, tax commissioner, county solicitor and State Court judge.

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Qualifying for Glascock County elections include all three commission seats, school board seats for the Edgehill, Mill, Gibson and at-large districts, sheriff, coroner, probate judge, magistrate judge, tax commissioner, clerk of Superior Court and county treasurer.

Jefferson County residents interested in qualifying must do so between April 26-30 at the office of the Probate Judge at the courthouse in Louisville. Glascock County residents must qualify at the Probate Judge's temporary office at the old school in Gibson during the same dates.

The primary will be held July 20. The 2004 general election will be held November 2.





Commission explores landfill alternatives

Commission may make decision at May 3 meeting

By Ben Nelms
Staff Writer

What may turn out to have been a landmark meeting occurred April 19 when Jefferson County commissioners met to explore alternatives for the county's Subtitle D solid waste landfill. Commissioners will potentially resolve the question about the future of the facility at the May 3 work session.

Commissioners decided recently to request information that might clarify the options and approaches faced by the board and county taxpayers in continuing to fund the Mennonite Church Road facility. Concerns over mounting costs since the landfill opened in January 1999 prompted county auditors and residents to consider possible funding and operational alternatives. Commissioners are currently considering both.

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Addressing commissioners April 19, consulting engineer Robin Chasman laid out the rationale from which the eventual fate of the facility will be determined. Chasman and consulting engineer Walt Sanders were asked by county administrator Paul Bryan to map out the possibilities the board would need to render a decision.

"Paul told us to look at the options to give (commissioners) a way to start a process so that you can look at the long-term options for decision making purposes," Chasman told the board.

Alternatives presented by Chasman and Sanders included 18 different options falling within four basic categories. One category called for keeping the solid waste landfill open. Another called for closing the facility and constructing a transfer station for household trash while retaining the on-site inert landfill for items such as limbs and leaves or converting it to a construction and demolition landfill. The third category called for closing the solid waste landfill, retaining county green boxes and building convenience centers with on-site staff to handle trash drop off. The fourth category called for providing residential trash pick up and closing the solid waste landfill with or without a delayed closure of one or more years.

Chasman and Sanders emphasized that the four categories contained a variety of options with varying costs attached. Considerations built into the options accounted for possibilities such as the continued presence of green boxes located around the county and the number of staffed convenience stations that could be constructed to receive household trash and larger items such as old appliances.

Engineers provided accompanying figures with each of the 18 options contained within the four categories. They reminded commissioners that the figures were preliminary estimates based on current regulations and historic data and assumed that the county would bear the expense for the labor required for each option. Figures were compiled without allowing for inflation, they added.

Prior to making a decision commissioners must also consider the cost of keeping the solid waste landfill operational. Auditors have alerted the board each year that costs associated with operating the facility continue to escalate though the amount of revenue generated remains relatively steady. Also to be considered are the short-term and long-term costs of opening new cells. The commission was misinformed about the life of a cell during the facility's initial planning stages in the mid-1990s. Though they were told that a cell would last 14 years, the first cell lasted only four years. The second cell, opened approximately one year ago, was supposed to last four to five years but is already one-third full and, consequently, will last only three years. The current cost of installing a new cell is more than $400,000 in addition to the county's labor involved with excavation and grading. Chasman advised commissioners to avoid doing anything that would require installing a new cell if they intended to close the landfill.

Chasman also told commissioners the county could not operate the Subtitle D landfill in a cost effective manner given the amount of trash generated compared to the cost associated with operating it.

"The landfill is more a liability than as asset," he said.

Chairman Gardner Hobbs asked commissioners to take the next couple of weeks prior to the May 3 work session to look at the numbers and speak with residents about their preferences.


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