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Officials: Residents taking their waste to Riley — and taking money with them

By The Mercury

WESTMORELAND — Business at the Pottawatomie County landfill has fallen off dramatically over the past year.

Scott Schwinn, county sanitarian, told Pott County commissioners Monday that for the month of November, the landfill shipped 567 tons of waste, a decline of about 16 percent from last year’s 677 tons.

The landfill also received 41 tons of construction debris in November –– less than half of the 88 tons received during the same period in 2012.

Although the Pott County landfill charges a lower fee ($43 per ton) than other area landfills, some haulers apparently take their trash elsewhere.

“To me it doesn’t make sense,” Schwinn said. “One business –– I won’t say who it is –– goes down the Wheaton Road twice a week right past our facility. It doesn’t make sense. Also, we don’t get Havensville and we don’t get Olsburg and that hurts a little bit.”

Commissioner Gary Yenzer, who works for Riley County, said he believes that county, by resolution, requires haulers to take trash picked up in Riley County to that county’s landfill.

Pott County has no such requirement.

Year-to-date, the Pott County landfill has shipped 7,238 tons of material, compared to 7,742 for the same period last year –– a decline of 503 tons, according to Schwinn.

The landfill has received 677 tons of construction debris, 162 tons less than the 839 tons received through the same period in 2012.

In other business Monday:

• County Counselor John Watt said he filed with the district court last Friday a petition to hold a tax foreclosure sale. 

Summonses to the owners of 42 tracts with back taxes will be sent by certified mail or delivered by the sheriff’s department within the next two weeks, Watt told commissioners.

“Of those 42, my guess is three-fourths of them will be paid before the day of the sale,” Watt said.

• Commissioners authorized Watt to begin the groundwork to sell the old ambulance station at Westmoreland. 

Watt said he had received an inquiry from a realtor about purchasing the building, but noted the county is required by law to dispose of public property either at auction or through a bidding process.

Commissioners preferred an auction.

“I think we ought to sell it,” said Commissioner Stan Hartwich. “Put it up for auction and move right along with it.”

Watt said he would do a title search, get a legal description, and solicit proposals from auctioneers in the county. 

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