Crown Point signs on to trash-to-ethanol plant agreement
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent July 11, 2012 12:26PM
Updated: August 13, 2012 1:53PM
CROWN POINT — The city has become the 12th municipality to sign the interlocal agreement for the proposed Powers Energy trash-to-ethanol plant in Schneider.
The Board of Works and Public Safety on Wednesday signed the pact that will enable the city to benefit from a $17.25-a-ton tipping fees at the proposed waste processing facility if it is built and they choose to do so. At this point Griffith is the only municipality to opt out of the agreement.
Board of Works member Robert Clemons headed the committee that reviewed the interlocal agreement and said he had met several times with Jeff Langbehn, executive director of the Lake County Solid Waste Management District, to go over the deal and how it would benefit the city. He said it is inherent of the members of the city’s boards and committees to look at all ways available to provide services and reduce costs.
“This is a win-win for our community to stay on course,” Clemons said.
Langbehn, who was on hand at the meeting along with the Solid Waste District attorney Clifford Duggan and Ed Cleveland, the local representative for Powers Energy, said the deal is non-binding and favors the municipalities that elect to participate.
“This interlocal agreement is decidedly lop-sided in favor of the municipalities,” Langbehn said. The rate of $17.25 per ton covers the tipping fee, an additional $8 to $10 per ton is expected in transportation costs. The agreement is good for 20 years. Municipalities are not penalized if they decide not to take advantage of the site if it is built and can pull out or opt in at any time if they are part of the interlocal agreement.
“You can send all of your trash if you so choose or you don’t have to send a drop,” he said.
Langbehn said the pact does not have any impact on the city’s current contract with its waste hauler and the city would not be able to take advantage until that contract would expire if it so chooses.
Mayor David Uran said the agreement, if officials choose to take advantage of it, will give the city “another tool in our tool belt” to maximize services and reduce costs. He said officials currently are pleased with the deal they have with the city’s current trash services provider, Allied Waste Services, which is part of Republic Services, operator of the Newton County Landfill.
“Our current provider has been very good to us and continues to be very good to us,” Uran said.