May 21, 2014
Last week Comm. Trammell wrote a letter to the editor. He and the county manager have repeatedly said in meetings and again in his letter, that there are no county records regarding the fiber issue at the landfill. He seems to question the fact that Georgia Pacific paid the county when they brought the fiber to the landfill, and then questions, if Georgia Pacific did pay fees, where did the money go?
At the 5/5/14 BOC meeting, I suggested they look at the annual county audits because the landfill records were and are audited every year. The county manager responded that there “might be” records in storage but it would be difficult to find them. It seems as if it would just be too big of a chore to actually look for anything because it is much easier to throw suspicion on what went on than to search and find out the facts.
I have been asking for open records since 2001, and I have copies of the county audits from 2002 to present. Each of these audits shows how much money came in to the landfill, how much money was spent and on what, how much money the county provided in additional funds, and how much money the county should be setting aside for post-closure costs–which is the projected cost to close the landfill and monitor it for 30 years. Unfortunately, these post-closure funds have never been set aside in any budgets by any BOC, including the board I sat on.
In 2002 and 2003 the audit had one figure for landfill income, which included curbside. These figures were $764,015 and $537,730 respectively. It was during this time that the fiber was still being brought in by Georgia Pacific to the landfill. The income and costs are laid out in the audit in a type of profit and loss statement, easily showing where the money went IF anyone would bother to look. In the 2004 audit the income was broken out with $52,822 for landfill and $294,131 for curbside. 2004 must have been the year curbside was added to our tax bills as well as being the year the NE Georgia office of EPD stopped the dumping of the fiber.
My original statements to the BOC on 5/5/14 and my letter to the editor two weeks ago emphasized the fact that GA EPD was intimately involved in the fiber being brought to the Jasper County landfill, and they should bear some of the cost burden of having it removed.
The purpose of my previous letter was not to pretend this didn’t happen or question what happened, but to say EPD was aware of it and allowed it for 10 years or more. They knew exactly where this fiber was being put because 3 trucks a day, each hauling a 40 yard container, had to make a “road” to where this fiber was being dumped. Why should Jasper County now be responsible to pay for all the cost of cleaning it up? If this BOC wants to increase taxes to pay for all this clean up and ignore what did happen in the past and not get help with the cost, then that is their decision.