Landfill Cash Balance….costs a lot to store garbage…

After attending the various budget meetings, we had a question regarding the high cash balances held in the Solid Waste Funds.  Here is the response we got from the Lake County Budget Director:

Mr. Massie,

Firstly, thank you for your e-mail and related inquiries concerning the Landfill.

At the budget hearing, the topic of increased fees being provided to Painesville Township was mentioned.  In accordance with ORC 3734.57 (C) and OAC Rule 3745-502-04, a host community fee can be levied by a municipality or township where the Landfill is located. The maximum allowable amount according to the aforementioned codes/rules is $0.25/ton, which is the amount we provide to Painesville Township.  Any additional monies granted to the host community in excess of $0.25/ton require a separate agreement between the Board of County Commissioner’s and host community.

The Landfill is owned and operated by the Board of Lake County Commissioner’s, with planning and support provided by the Lake County Solid Waste Management District.

Note Q within the 2017 Financial Report explains the Landfill closure and post closure costs.  In 2017, the estimated cost to perform all closure and post-closure care of the Landfill (in current dollars—not including interest), was roughly $16 million. This amount will likely increase with inflation and increased regulations.

The Solid Waste fund has a cash balance of roughly $11 million. The $2 million you referred to is not for an “obligated expenditure;” rather, it is the amount that the department maintains as a minimum cash reserve. The remaining $9 million serves as available cash that might be needed to cover unanticipated expenses associated with construction (cell expansion and/or facilities), operations, maintenance (scale house and existing buildings), monitoring (gas extraction improvements), and the funding of the Landfill’s closure and post-closure monetary requirements. As a result, I would not term it as “excess funds.”

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