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SWA temporarily reduced to five members

Post Date:06/08/2017 8:26 AM

The Newton County Board of Commissioners (BOC) voted to reduce the number of members on the Solid Waste Authority’s Board of Directors to five during its regular meeting Tuesday night. The BOC included in their motion reconstitution of the authority to a seven-member board during its Aug. 15 meeting.

The Solid Waste Authority (SWA) was reformed in January of 2016 as an eight-member board of directors. Recently, three members have resigned from the board while several key decisions for the landfill and the county’s solid waste stream are being worked through.

Due to the SWA currently being engaged in these time-sensitive matters, any new members would have to digest a lot of information in a short period of time. In respect to that, the board unanimously approved to keep the SWA board of directors to five members for a defined period of time.

“There is a lot of items the Solid Waste Authority is currently working on that need to be completed in a short period of time,” said Marcello Banes, Board of Commissioners Chairman and SWA member. “It would be unfair to both any new members and the authority to appoint and acclimate new members at this time.”

Outlined in the SWA’s bylaws is that the authority’s board of directors be appointed by the BOC
as a whole and not individual commissioners. With that in mind, the BOC discussed several options on how many members it would take to keep the SWA running efficiently Tuesday night.

Several board members wanted to ensure the SWA was balanced between the state-mandated three county elected officials and appointed members. The best way to do that, the BOC said, was to have a seven-member board with the chairman being a voting member. The SWA’s bylaws state that the authority’s chair is to be voted on by its members.

Under its recent configuration, the SWA was an eight-member board with a non-voting chairman.

The SWA holds its regular meetings on the third Thursday of each month in the Newton County Historic Courthouse.


In other BOC news

Firefighters honored

Newton County Chairman Marcello Banes recognized Newton County Fire Services as June’s Department of the Month.

Also nine firefighters were honored and given plaques for their awards from the EMS Region III for administering life-saving techniques to a patient who was under cardiac arrest.

Skyler Blankenship, Richard Aaron, Dave Harper, Ashley Moss, Chris Fox, Noel Anson, Chris Barnes, Randy Monchrief and Steve Raulerson were saluted by the BOC with several who were in attendance brought up to the stage during Tuesday’s meeting.


 New Development Services Director

The BOC ratified the hiring of the county’s new Development Services Director, Zachary Montgomery.

Montgomery fills the position left vacant when County Manager Lloyd Kerr was promoted in October.


Bond issuance moves forward

The BOC paved the way for bonds to be paid for by the Solid Waste Authority Tuesday.

The bonds are being issued to fund a $10,212,215 million purchase of the Newton County landfill by the SWA, $9,927,821 million in remediation efforts for the landfill and an additional $3,280,557 to refinance the GEFA loan needed for repairs at the landfill.

The BOC voted to have all non-taxable portions of the bond paid for from solid waste fees.

The SWA approved the authorization of preparations to issue the bonds on May 18.

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