County weighs dead animal options

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By The Staff

By Jimmie Earls

Sun Staff Writer

The Washington County Fiscal Court is one step closer to a solution to the dead animal pickup problem. The county decided not to renew their contract with Nation Brothers due to a doubling of the contract cost. The court has received a proposal from Dead Animal Removal Service, Inc. from Winchester, Ky., to pick up and dispose of dead animals in the county for $27,900. The county is also considering keeping the $20 per-stop fee charged to farmers who use the service.

Another option is to purchase a truck approved for animal pick-up and hire somebody to take care of the dead animals. The animals would then be taken to the Nelson County landfill. Washington County Judge-Executive John Settles said it would be a program similar to what Marion County has chosen to do.

“I talked with Marion County Judge-Executive John Mattingly, and he sent me a lot of information,” said Settles. “Everything they do is contingent upon what Nelson County allows them to do. They did buy a truck, they are getting that truck licensed and should have that done this week. They are going to dedicate a man whenever needed to drive the truck, pick up the animals and drive them to Nelson County to put them in the landfill. I talked to (Nelson County Judge-Executive Dean) Watts and asked if we could bring our animals over there. He said he would have to get back to me on that because they don't know about the volume, whether or not they'll have enough garbage to cover them. Marion County said they would be willing to work with us, but they were interested more in us having our own vehicle and having own own man and maybe just meeting them somewhere and they would haul them to Bardstown. All of that could be worked out if that's the route we decide to go.”

Dead Animal Removal Service, Inc. is a new business that is looking for business in the surrounding counties. The company, owned by Henry Mattingly, plans to build a transfer station in Holland, Ind.

“To make this choice more enticing, I talked to the governor's office of agricultural policy,” added Settles. “They have approved that each local ag development board can contribute up to $7,500 to a dead animal removal program. This is a one-year exemption they are doing. The state will match the amount from the local board, for a total of $15,000.”

Settles would like to negotiate details of any contract signed with a dead animal removal service.

“There are several things I'd like to negotiate with him on,” Settles said. “The local stockyards had a separate contract before. Why can't we combine contracts? They contribute some to whoever is paying and have just one contract for the county."

Some of the county's cost would also be offset by charging animal owners a $20 fee per stop. Settles commented that the number of dead animals that the county picked up dropped significantly when a fee was charged.

Mattingly's estimate is based on 800 dead animals in Washington County.

“We're not going to have 800 animals,” Settles stated. “To me, this seems like a better idea long term than going to the landfill. The state is saying they do not recommend land-filling as a long-term solution. This is just a short-term fix.”

Magistrates Terry Tingle and Billy Riney, along with Settles, plan to meet with Mattingly to discuss details of a contract.

In other business

• The closing of the Nally and Haydon Quarry in Springfield has left the county between a rock and a hard place on finding their crushed rock for county roads.

“They're saying it's on account of the economy,” said county road department supervisor Albert Wimsatt. “They're not saying it's going to be closed from now on, when the economy improves, they're going to re-open. Neal Vance with Nally and Haydon talked to me and the judge and he wants to bring us rock and stockpile it. They want us to get it out of the Bardstown quarry because they have a bigger crusher. He's agreed to sell us rock our of Bardstown for $5.25 per ton. They will deliver it on the spot and stockpile it for $8.50 per ton.”

“When you put the pencil to it, paying for an employee, a truck and the fuel, we can probably save a little money by stockpiling over the long haul,” said Settles.

Wimsatt said the rock could be kept at the county landfill. The court considered the distance of hauling rock from the landfill to more remote areas in the county.

“Most of Washington County is north of Springfield,” said magistrate Greg Simms. “What's the use of stockpiling if we save three dollars a ton?”

“I think if you're in my area, you get it from Lebanon,” said Riney. “If you're in Hal (B. Goode)'s area, you get it from Anderson County and if you're in Terry's area, you get it from Bardstown.”

Settles added, “You're going to start tying up money when you haul it. I know you're going to have some loss, but we're going to have cheaper rock because they say it's going up.”

The price per ton is good through the end of June. Wimsatt said he expects the price to increase after the end of June. The county is expected to make a decision at a future meeting.

• Albert Wimsatt said that the county is close to the halfway point of cleaning up limbs from county roads. He also said that help from the state should arrive on Wednesday to help with the cleanup. The state is just finishing up debris removal along state roads and will now assist on county roads.

“We've got everything through Frederickstown and St. Rose, most everything out KY-555 and everything down Bloomfield Road,” said Wimsatt. “Most everything left is north of us.”

• The county is re-advertising for the janitorial service for the new Washington County Judicial Center. The court previously accepted bids for the service, but state guidelines for the bidding process were not given to the county until the day the bidding closed.