Leavenworth County transfer station to cut hours, staff
The Leavenworth County transfer station will have shorter hours and a smaller staff in attempt to limit loses at the facility.
Mark Wilson, transfer station manager, got the County Commission's authority Thursday to cut hours and reduce personnel as needed to prevent operating in the red the facility at 136th Street and Gilman Road in Lansing.
As of May 1, the transfer station's hours will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays, Wilson said after the meeting. The facility now opens at 7 p.m. on weekdays.
Moreover, the transfer station's staff of seven full-time employees and one part-timer will be reduced to five full-timers and two part-timers, Wilson said.
The changes were needed when trash hauler Republic Services decided to quit using the station and instead haul its trash to a Missouri landfill. The change will cost the county of $350,000 to $400,000 a year.
Wilson told commissioners he was informed by the trash hauler the company would save money with the change, although it would require Republic to assign more trucks in Leavenworth County and trips to the Missouri landfill.
Republic was charged at out-of-county rates because it didn't have a yard in the county, Wilson said. Company officials had been told they could qualify for the cheaper in-county rates should they park some of its trucks in the county overnight, but they declined to do so for security reasons, he said.
Commissioners were also told the city of Leavenworth, which handles trash pickup for that city, had considered hauling its waste to the Hamm Inc. landfill in Jefferson County. Should that happen, it would cost the transfer station $22,000 to $30,000 a month, Wilson said.
Commissioner J.C. Tellefson said he wanted to revisit the transfer station's situation during upcoming budget discussions. To be considered would be whether the county continued to offer the service, whether the facility be privatized and operational changes.
But discussion Thursday indicated solutions could be difficult.
County Administrator Heather Morgan said Hamm Inc. declined an offer last year to operate the transfer station.
As far as fee adjustment, commissioners said at different times during Thursday's discussion they didn't want to raise rates to the point trash haulers or residents wouldn't use it or pitch waste in county ditches. But they also agreed cutting rates sharply wasn't the answer, either.
"If we're going to drive it down to $37 and subsidize $10 a ton, it's not where I want to be," Tellefson said.
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