Weeks after some commissioners expressed concerns over moving forward with household hazardous waste disposal funding from the state, Loudon County Commission on Monday reversed course and voted in favor of the no-match grant.
The vote was 7-1 after commissioners Bill Satterfield and Leo Bradshaw motioned and seconded, respectively, with the lone dissenting vote from Van Shaver. Commissioners Steve Harrelson and David Meers were absent.
“My concern is any time you tangle in with the state of Tennessee it never ends well,” Shaver said. “They are trying to get the twice-a-year household hazardous waste event, they’re trying to get their hands out of that one and put it on the counties’ backs is what they’re trying to do. It’s a $30,000 right now, it may stay 30, it may go up. They may come in and in a couple years say, ‘We can’t do it anymore’.”
The grant is for $30,000 and will cover an 8-foot by 40-foot steel temporary household hazardous waste facility at the Loudon convenience center for storage until disposal company Clean Harbors collects the items. Loudon County Convenience Center Director Chris Parks was present Monday.
“As far as being tied in with them, in a way we (already) pretty much are,” Parks said. “We take the paint every Saturday now, we take any kind of light bulbs and this Clean Harbors bunch is already coming and picking up the paint, they’re picking up the light bulbs, and have been for longer than I have been, I think it’s well over eight years now that they’ve been doing that.
“The mobile events have been going on,” he added. “As far as being in with them we pretty much already are.”
Parks said the county still has the right to refuse collection, and the state has recommended they not take anything unlabeled. Items would be collected by Clean Harbors on an as-needed basis and taken to an incinerator in Alabama.
“I am concerned about the out-of-county waste,” Kelly Littleton-Brewster, commissioner, said. “I am concerned about the single county entity. After talking some more about the single county region I did find out because this is a grant by (Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation) for the hazardous waste we would have to accept out-of-county waste, hazardous waste, no matter what because we are going through with this grant.”
Parks said the location would have to take out-of-county household hazardous waste, but based off his experience it would likely be minimal. Loudon is one of at least a couple counties in the surrounding area to participate in the program, with others being Blount and McMinn.
“Normally in our things we get one out-of-county car in our events that we have, normally one maybe two, not many,” Parks said. “... This seems to be the future that they’re going with this and I think before long they may cut out the mobile events. I guess the mobile events it’d just be a huge cost savings for them and put it more on the county to handle it, but I can’t see it being much more trouble.”
Hopes are by January to begin providing the service every Saturday at a currently undetermined time, Parks said.
With Monday’s approval, Parks said the next step will be to inform TDEC it wants to participate.
Loudon County Commission also:
• Tabled consideration to appoint a county historian and county public records commission.
• Passed county employee insurance premiums, which will increase medical 3 percent through UnitedHealthcare. Vision and dental will remain unchanged.
• Approved application/acceptance of a $2,558 technology grant for the Loudon Public Library. The grant will include a dollar-for-dollar match from the Loudon Library sub-fund.
• Authorized appropriating funds in the fiscal year 2018-19 budget to reimburse newly elected officials for travel expenses incurred while attending the orientation program conducted by the University of Tennessee County Technical Assistance Service.
• Amended County General Fund 101, Public Library Fund 115, Recycling Centers Fund 116, Highway Department Fund 131, General Purpose School Fund 141, School Federal Projects Fund 142 and General Capital Projects Fund 171.