The Marion County Commission, during its May 31 payday meeting, commended Harvey County representatives and asked them to return with a more finalized plan to save waste-disposal costs by burning trash to produce electricity.
John Waltner and Roy Patton, representing Harvey County Solid Waste, said ethanol fuel pioneering company ICM of Colwich has already been developing electrical generation from burning municipal solid and demolition wastes, and Westar Energy is interested in the energy source for distribution.
Waltner said Harvey County decided to try to “treat municipal solid waste and demolition waste as resources instead of wastes” with this program in 2001.
The county wanted to reduce landfill storage and costs by leaving only ashes and residues to dispose of, he said.
ICM became involved in the discussions with Harvey County, Waltner said, and, faced with some decline in fuel ethanol demand, decided to think more of itself as a renewable energy company with increasing resources dedicated to waste fuel electrical generation.
Waltner said ICM developed a waste gasification, combustion to heat water, and steam boiler process to generate electricity.
As part of the process, Waltner said, Harvey County began looking for other counties that might add to its 90 tons of daily waste to increase the project to economical levels. The county wouldn’t even have to worry about waste production if the trash levels were up to 400 to 500 tons daily, he said.
Waltner said it was determined that western Kansas counties were too far away to be economical, but that bordering neighbors such as Marion County would be feasible to add.
Rollin Schmidt, Marion County solid waste director, said Marion County probably could provide 20 tons daily.
Commissioner Randy Dallke said the proposal may in part be dependent on what kind of time frame Harvey County needs to work under because Marion County still is committed by contract to landfill disposal.
Commissioner Roger Fleming said, “Any time we can take something going into the ground and change it to produce a resource, it’s a plus for all of us. I want to commend you and Harvey County for taking the initiative to try to make this work.”
Dallke and Commission Chair Dan Holub joined in the commendation with Dallke adding, “Next time you come ready to work with us on the project.”
County Clerk Carol Maggard said regular county sales tax received at the end of May for March was $54,236 and the special jail sales tax was $48,095.
Economic Director Teresa Huffman said she wanted to commend David Mueller and the rest of the Tampa community for the organization of the community foundation, efforts to bring a grocery store to town, and the conversion of an older fuel filling station into a community museum.
Huffman said grant funds through Kansas State University are helping the development of a community garden and Harvey House restoration in Florence, a greenhouse in Peabody and in museum development at Goessel.
The commissioners discussed development of an 80-foot tower, possibly on a 13-by-13-foot pad, at a corner of the new jail with Emergency Management Director Dan D’Albini in order for radio transmissions to clear the height of the courthouse.
D’albini’s estimates of the cost were in the mid-$20,000 range, with lower costs if the tower could be attached to the jail. Commissioners said they would consider that option if warranty of the building wasn’t compromised.
The commissioners agreed with County Treasurer Jeannine Bateman on a lease of $341 a month for five years with Pittney Bowes for an upgraded mailing machine that will take up much less floor space than the old machine.
County Attorney Susan Robson notified commissioners that she has appointed Brian Bina as assistant county attorney.
The commissioners approved an area fuel bid from Cooperative Grain & Supply of Hillsboro for $18,929 in four areas for 6,550 gallons of diesel over a competitive bid of 19,175 from Cardie Oil Inc. of Tampa.
They approved a bid of $1,867.50 from Farm Kansas, representing the cooperatives at Hillsboro and Tampa, for 50 gallons of Crossbow herbicide for noxious weeds over competitive bids of $2,000 from Ag Service of Hillsboro and $2,475 from Markley Service of Marion.
The commissioners met for 10 minutes in executive session for personnel with Diedre Serene, health department administrator.
The commission met in a $2,354,284 payday meeting.