Waste board makes change

    The Adams County Solid Waste District's board of trustees on Monday approved a change in financial trustees for the district's transfer station and landfill trust accounts. The process, prompted by the expiration of the two long-standing trust agreements with First Merchants Bank, ultimately will cost the district a significant amount of interest income annually.
    According to solid waste district executive secretary Betty Garwood — who was filling in for district director Hank Mayer, absent due to the recent death of his mother — the new interest rate offered for certificates of deposits was well below that received by the district in recent years. "The days of excellent (interest) rates are not going to happen any more," Garwood told the board.
    The 24-month CD rate offered by First Merchants was .64 percent, prompting Garwood to contact both Fifth Third Bank and First Bank of Berne for rate offers. Both financial institutions were interested, she said, but only First Bank of Berne submitted a proposal — one that offered an interest rate of 2 percent on a 24-month CD.
    Garwood recommended the solid waste district terminate its existing agreement with First Merchants and execute a new agreement with First Bank of Berne to act as the district's trust account trustee. The board unanimously supported that recommendation.
    Also approved by the board were automatic extensions of the district's solid waste hauling and disposal contracts with Dave Luginbill Trucking and Waste Management Inc., respectively.
    Board attorney Tim Baker recommended the board renew for a second 10-year term its contract with Waste Management for waste disposal at the Jay County landfill. That proposal, along with 5-year renewal with the Luginbill firm that included a waiver of a surety bond as required in the original contract, were unanimously upheld by the board.
    Also on Monday, the board accepted and took under advisement the lone bid submitted for the district's purchase of a new front-end loader to be used at the county transfer station.
    McAllister Machinery Inc. of Indianapolis submitted the only legal bid, after another proposal was rejected after it was turned in minutes after the advertised deadline.
    McAllister's bid contained two proposals: one for a Caterpillar IT 14G loader at a cost of $124,959; the other for a Caterpillar 924H model at a price of $146,501. According to Baker, Mayer had asked the board to take the bids under advisement and to authorize him to execute a contract if the products are consistent with bid specifications. The board agreed to that request.
    In other business, the solid waste board approved a resolution agreeing to changes made by the Adams County Council to its proposed 2012 operating budget. The final $1.4 million budget removed 2 percent pay hikes for district employees that had been recommended by the solid waste panel.