MOUNT VERNON — Keith Bailey, director of the DKMM Solid Waste District, met with the Knox County Commissioners Thursday morning to address growing concerns about the Knox County Recycling Center, 301 Columbus Road Bailey said that the concerns originate with the company hired to operate the facility, Sims Brothers Inc., of Marion.
The recycling operation, which once was handled directly by the county, was privatized a few years back as part of an initiative by then-commissioner Thomas McLarnan, according to current commissioner Allen Stockberger.
“Due to the grants we had at that time, we had a positive cash flow at the recycling center,” Stockberger said. He said that the recycling business tends to go through cycles, however, and was now at a low ebb in terms of monetary value because of the soft economy and the increasingly large number of people recycling.
Bailey said that the recycling competition in this area has been difficult for Sims Brothers, who had to start up a new operation. Unfortunately, though some months have been good, the overall picture has seen the operation in the red, and Bailey said that this needs to be fixed to maintain this part of the district’s access to commercial recycling, which is required by state law.
“Let’s solve this before the contract ends in 2011,” Bailey said.
Knox County recycling director Linda Montgomery wondered if it would help the situation for Sims Brothers to be given direct pickup control of some of the county’s recycling trailers. Stockberger said that the county would be reluctant to give up direct control of the trailers, due to problems encountered in the past with timely pickup when the unloading was outsourced to a private contractor.
The commissioners asked Bailey to arrange a meeting with representatives of Sims Brothers Inc.
In other business, Jason Walls, a member of Journey Church on Schenck Creek Road asked for permission to cut up a large oak tree which had fallen on county property on Danville Amity Road near the back entrance into Apple Valley. Walls said that his intention was to supply the wood to needy members of his church, and he volunteered to sign a waiver absolving the county of any insurance liability in the event of accident. The commissioenrs said that considering the use of the wood, they would accept Walls’ proposal.
“When I look at the amount of wood wasted in this county, I know we could be energy independent,” Stockberger said. The commissioners said that they would direct Assistant Prosecutor Charles McConville to draft up a waiver for Walls to sign.
McConville also advised the commissioners that property on the old railroad line between Howard and Millwood, which is being looked at as the potential site for a wastewater line, is clear enough in title for the county to implement eminent domain proceedings to acquire the property.
McConville also advised that the pending request to vacate an old section of Leedy Lane on the border between Knox and Richland counties was correctly filed according to the Ohio Revised Code. The commissioners therefore decided to request a meeting with the Richland County Commissioners as soon as possible to force a vote about the road vacation before the time-sensitive request expires, vacating the road by default. As covered in Tuesday and Wednesday’s issues of the Mount Vernon News, the Knox County Commissioners hope to block the move to vacate the road, which though on Richland County ground, serves as the only access point to the property of Darla Holdkamp. The News received word late Thursday a meeting has been scheduled between the two counties’ commissioners on Tuesday, at 1 p.m.