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Landfill in Millard will expand service area

Garbage was a central focus at Wednesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

The Board approved an amendment to the solid waste management plan that expands the TransAmerican Waste Central Landfill service area to include counties and parishes within a 75-mile radius of the center of the landfill property, located in Millard.

The landfill currently services Pearl River County, adjacent counties and parishes, and Covington, Jasper, Jones, Perry Simpson and Smith Counties, according to a press release from Waste Management. No changes will be made to the design of the Central Landfill facility or footprint, the release states.

The Board held a hearing for public comment on the amendment before approving it. During public comment, several attendees at the meeting asked for clarification on what the amendment would do. Attendees who wanted them were provided with written copies of the amendment, and the public hearing was closed, so that the Board could answer questions, and then reopened for public comment after the questions were answered.

District V Supervisor Sandy Kane Smith said that the landfill has been in the red financially for years, and their coverage area made it difficult for them to make a profit. District II Supervisor Malcolm Perry said the landfill is an asset to the county and allowing the company that owns it to expand the coverage area will bring the company more revenue to operate. Several supervisors emphasized that the amendment will not change what kind of waste is allowed in the landfill.

Sam Williams, the landfill’s Senior District Manager of Disposal, said the landfill cannot compete with just the waste collected in the county so expanding the service area will give the company the opportunity to invest more money into the landfill and streamline services.

County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin made a rough estimate that the landfill was only able to produce $100,000 per month in revenue with the previous service area, which would not be enough to run the facility, he said.

Unrelated to the approved amendment, District III Supervisor Hudson Holliday said he would like the Board to examine ideas for universal garbage collection in the county and he believes countywide garbage pickup could reduce litter in the county and shorten lines at the landfill.

In a separate matter, the Board approved renewing the VOCA 2020-2021 grant. The federal grant requires a 20 percent match, but Pearl River County splits that match with Lamar County, said victim assistance coordinator Jeff Caillouet. The grant funds direct services for crime victims, is used for travel and training and pays the salaries for two victim services providers. The total budget is $187,868, of which 80 percent is recovered from federal funds and 10 percent is reimbursed by Lamar County, so Pearl River County only has to provide $18,786 in funding.

In other business the Board:

—Approved the lowest quote for cameras at the county jail for $16,182 from Intellacom. The Board also approved the lowest quote for a metal storage building at the jail for $24,485 from Southern Contractors and Builders.

—Awarded a bid for replacement of the bridge on McNeill McHenry Road for $389,000 to Pearl River Paving.

The next Board meeting will be March 2 at 9 a.m.