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City looking to make deal with county over biosolid waste

By Staff | Oct 24, 2011

The city will look to amend an interlocal agreement with Lee County next Monday, Oct. 31, striking a deal for the county to take the city’s biosolid waste starting in 2013 for up to 10 years.

City Utilities Director Jeff Pearson said the move will save the city $799,000 this fiscal year alone.

The city was previously eyeing an interlocal agreement with Charlotte County to take its biosolid waste but that plan fell through when Charlotte decided to privatize its operation, according to Pearson.

The city owns millions of dollars worth of sludge drying equipment, but the costs associated with constructing the necessary building are far more expensive in the long run, Pearson said.

“This is much cheaper than developing a multi-million dollar pelletization facility,” Pearson added.

City Manager Gary King said the city is exploring selling the sludge drying equipment but doubted it would fetch top dollar.

Councilmember Bill Deile called the interlocal agreement a “rational business decision,” while Councilmember Marty McClain said he was wary of entering into a long-term deal with the county.

“I don’t like long-term commitments if something is going to crash and burn down the road – I need to be in a comfort zone with this,” McClain said.