County examines future with West Central Solid Waste

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Several years of not having to pay for an important service is a good thing, except for one factor.

What happens when it’s time to start paying again?

That will be the situation facing Putnam County leaders about a year from now when the time comes to decide on the 2021 annual contribution to the West Central Solid Waste District.

Currently, the county still has a $77,820 credit with the district, which also serves Montgomery and Parke counties.

However, with an annual contribution of $1.75 per person in the county, the credit will be reduced by $66,435 in 2020.

Having operated at a loss in recent years, the West Central Solid Waste board voted to raise the per capita contribution from $1.50 in 2019 to $1.75 in 2020.

That will leave just $11,385, making 2021 the year to pay the fiddler.

“Next year is going to be the year we have to decide how to fund this,” Commissioner Rick Woodall said Monday. “For the last six, seven years, nowhere in the budget of Putnam County is this part of it.

“At some point in the next year, we have to determine if this is a viable resource for the constituents of Putnam County.”

Among the services offered by West Central are the annual Tox-Away Days in all three counties as well as operating the yard waste site southwest of Greencastle.

Having taken some things of his own to the local Tox-Away Day in May, Woodall observed that there were eight semi trailers full of items such as tires and appliances, with more items sitting on the ground waiting for more trailers.

“They do, in my opinion, provide a service to the county,” Woodall said.

Given that continuing to do business with West Central Solid Waste will involve budget issues, the future of the relationship will be in the hands of both the commissioners and the Putnam County Council.

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  • Sadly, the county will likely spend the money cleaning up stuff that is dumped illegally if the tox-away and yard waste site are no longer available. Remember what dump road used to look like?

    -- Posted by Geologist on Wed, Sep 4, 2019, at 5:35 AM
  • I thought that the reason Putnam County joined with these other two counties, plus Hendricks County originally, was that it is mandated by the State of Indiana that all 92 counties provide this service through a solid waste district on their own or in conjunction with other counties. If that is the case, Putnam County just needs to figure out if they are staying with Montgomery and Parke Counties or going it alone, which is probably not fiscally possible. I guess the Commissioners and Council need to figure out where they will find the funds. They knew this was coming but just buried their heads until the day of reckoning was at hand.

    -- Posted by gustave&zelma on Wed, Sep 4, 2019, at 4:34 PM
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