By Forrest Hershberger
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Council Gives Go-Ahead for Landfill Upgrades


The Sidney City Council Tuesday gave the green light to purchasing needed equipment for the Sidney Solid Waste Landfill.

The City of Sidney has a dilemma. Necessary equipment at the landfill needs replaced, and badly. The baler, 24 years old and was defined in August 2017 as obsolete. Furthermore, the company that manufactured the baler is no longer in business and the mechanic who maintained it has retired. To extend the life of the cell, the collection site, the facility needs a shredder. It is a situation of pay for it now, or pay later at likely a higher price tag.

Dean Sterling, Solid Waste superintendent, reported Tuesday in the city council meeting that the cost of a shredder and a compactor, the direction agreed upon by the council in a recent work session, would cost at least $651,371 for the shredder and $652,500 for the compactor. The prices were quoted in the fall of 2017. The City applied for a NDEQ Solid Waste Reduction grant in 2017. The City did not receive funding for the grant.

City Manager Ed Sadler said the baler is down for the second time since the council last met. He said the two units would cost about $1.5 million, about the same cost as construction of the existing cell. Council members said when the last cell was constructed, the City was told a new one would cost at least twice the price.

The upside of the discussion is purchase of a shredder and compactor would extend the life of the cell by several years. The issue is how to finance the purchases. Sadler said the solid waste is not healthy before considering new purchases.

“[At] the rate you’re going now, you’re spending more than you’re bringing in,” Sadler said. “We’ve known we needed to stop this downward spiral, but we wanted to see if we get the grant.”

He suggested increase user fees minimally, $2 more per month for residential customers, which with the current number of customers would generate about $200,000 annually. He added debt service on $1.5 million would be about $180,000 annually.

“This will be backed by the Solid Waste Authority, not by you the council,” Sadler said.

The council also discussed changing the method of trash pickup, streamlining the truck fleet with more receptacles of the same design, which would mean the same type of trucks.

Councilman Wendal Gaston made a motion to move forward with the purchases of a baler and shredder and pursue a 10-year bond.

“We’re just trying to cover our costs,” councilman Bob Olsen said regarding the rate increases.

Sadler said he would like to have the new rates in place by September.


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