Alcorn inks garbage contract for huge savings

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

CORINTH – The Alcorn County Board of Supervisors on Friday finalized a contract with Waste Connections Inc. of Walnut that is expected to save the county hundreds of thousands of dollars over the 10-year term of the agreement.
Details of the agreement, which takes effect July 1, were settled after Waste Management and Waste Connections submitted counter-offers to the board in April.
Waste Connections will operate the county transfer station for household waste at a charge of $22.98 per ton to the county. The company also will receive rubbish hauled to the transfer station, with individuals using the service paying a minimum fee of $5 and a maximum charge of $22.98 per ton.
“This is an extremely good deal for Alcorn County,” said BOS President Lowell Hinton. “We realize this ($5 fee) will be a burden on some, but the board of supervisors felt this would be the best option for our county as a whole.”
Since the county collects about 5,400 tons of waste per year at a current cost of $45 per ton, the new contract will save the county $120,000 per year. Having the contractor collect rubbish at the transfer station also will allow the county to close the Farmington Road rubbish site to the public, for an additional savings of $100,000 per year.
“The only cost that Alcorn County will incur will be the cost to pick up the residential waste and to dispose of it at a cost of $450,000 per year,” Hinton said.
The county currently uses four mills of county taxes to pay for garbage disposal, and the new contract should allow the county to break even at that same rate.
However, the accumulated debt over many years for operating the garbage service has left this account at a deficit of about $900,000, Hinton said. Selling trucks, trailers, backhoes and property acquired to support the garbage operation should go a long way to reducing that deficit, but it will still take a few years to eliminate it completely.
Also significant in the contract is that rises in the consumer price index and fuel prices will not affect the rate the county pays, Hinton said. The rate is constant for the life of the contract.
“We didn’t get into this condition overnight and it’s going to take some time to get out of it, but we’ve stopped the bleeding,” he said. “We’ll eventually get caught up.”
lena.mitchell@journalinc.com