Scott County United, the county’s economic development organization, issued a statement Thursday supporting a “landfill partner that operates the site in compliance with all laws, regulations and best practices with an annual volume in compliance with the Host Community Agreement that makes reasonable business sense and protects the public.”

The statement was issued Thursday afternoon and presented to the Scott County Fiscal Court to be included among the public hearing statements collected regarding efforts to possibly amend the county’s Solid Waste Management Agreement and the Host Community Agreement between the county and the operators of the landfill, Waste Services of the Bluegrass. The group was called together in an emergency meeting to discuss the landfill. The statement was approved unanimously.

As part of the legal procedures required to amend the county’s Solid Waste Management Agreement, the fiscal court held a public hearing to gather input on the landfill and its impact upon the community. Some 200 people attended the hearing which was held at Scott County High School with another 75-to-100 statements were received prior to the hearing, officials said.

“Scott County United supports the proper operation of a local landfill as (a) community partner that provides for certainty and predictability for the future,” Scott County United’s statement reads. “Most available areas of the Commonwealth are not suitable for landfills due to environmental protection reasons. Portions of Scott County have the geology and topography that are conducive to siting contained landfills which when designed, constructed and operated within the current laws and best practices, are an asset to the community.

“Our Community forefathers understood that, and the City of Georgetown operated local landfills for years upgrading the design, operations and keeping pace with the changing requirements. When operating costs became too great for the City, the local landfill was sold to a private company to continue to have certainty for our local disposal needs well into the future.

“Landfill operations are a business that when properly operated, provide certainty for community and business growth. The Landfill Business must balance costs to properly operate based upon the volumes of waste that come to the landfill as outlined by the final Host Community Agreement. Disposal costs will continue to go up, as landfill capacity in the state is limited and every community must manage their solid waste with a permitted landfill.”

As part of the process, the fiscal court sought bids from waste management companies to guarantee the county would have landfill capacity for 20 years or more. Three bids were submitted and the county will review each bid, officials have said.

Any amendment to the Solid Waste Management Agreement would have to be approved by the fiscal court, and then submitted to the state for approval. The county has hired well-known environmental attorney Tom Fitzgerald to oversee the process. County Judge-Executive Joe Pat Covington has indicated he hopes to revise the Host Community Agreement so the county can ensure compliance by landfill operators on various issues including the amount of waste accepted by the landfill from outside the county.

Scott County United is a volunteer board of business and community leaders. Jack Conner is the paid director of economic development. The organization’s mission is to “achieve sustained, orderly and objective economic growth consistent with the resources in the geographic region, and maintain a high quality of life for residents by providing counsel, coordination and support when needed to various agencies, commissions, organizations and government units.”

Mike Scogin can be reached at mscogin@news-graphic.com.

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