December 18, 2012
At a special meeting of the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority Tuesday, Charlottesville and Albemarle County officials worked on a compromise for the Ivy Material Utilization Center -- a project where the city wants out but the county wants to continue.
"It's always been the intent of the [Albemarle County] Board of Supervisors to continue the service to individual constituents in our community," said Ken Boyd, an Albemarle supervisor who sits on the RSWA's board of directors.
Albemarle County wants to continue the landfill services in the most economical way, especially after Charlottesville City Council voted last year to back out of the service.
"In terms of Albemarle County, I think the most important message I can convey is they have options," said Tom Frederick, the executive director of the RSWA.
At a special meeting, the authority approved three main things: (1) to end a contract with the company Waste Management for landfill services; (2) to extend options to Albemarle County to revise the services; and (3) to explore providing a ground lease to the county so it can run a waste collection facility or hire a private company to maintain operations.
"We have seen that the private sector, at least, is touting that they can do a better job at a lot less cost than what we can do, so we're interested in looking at that," Boyd said.
Whatever happens to the landfill could affect as many as 14 authority employees. The landfill will continue to operate as is until the authority decides what the next steps for Albemarle County are.
"[The employees have] done their work, and they've done it well and effectively with the political decisions that have been made over the years," Frederick said.
Many citizens feared the authority was going to vote to close the McIntire Recycling Center at its meeting, but the board said there was no intent to do that. The board said it wants to continue to operate the center on a break-even basis as long as that is possible.
Charlottesville City Council will review the decision made at Tuesday's meeting, and a final decision on Albemarle County's involvement in the landfill could take place at a special RSWA meeting in January.