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Landfill tops city agenda

April 22, 2013

The Big Spring City Council is set to meet Tuesday evening, with final approval of an agreement between the municipality and the county to fund the opening and construction of a new city landfill topping the agenda.

The resolution — which includes an inter-local agreement with Howard County to provide for sharing of the costs of land acquisition, permitting, operation, ownership, closure and post closure of a new municipal landfill — has been at the center of turmoil between the two governments since the city council approved first reading of the measure March 26.

The measure requires the agreement to distribute the cost of the new landfill at a ratio of one-third for Howard County to two-thirds for the City of Big Spring. It was approved by the council on a unanimous vote during the March meeting with District 2 Councilwoman Carmen Harbour absent at the time.

While tempers may have flared during the March meeting, the city and county were able to reach an accord during subsequent meetings, according to officials from both entities.

“We made some pretty good strides today,” Howard County Commissioner John Cline said following the April 10 meeting between the two government agencies. “The city shared a lot of information with us that will be very helpful.”

Mayor Tommy Duncan agreed following the April 10 meeting, saying the city shared some vital information with county representatives that would help the proceedings move forward.

“We're starting to come together,” Duncan said. “I believe we provided the county with all the information they requested. Now, they'll take that information back and see where they want to go from here and we'll all meet again next week.”

The county's one-third of estimated costs is expected to come to approximately $1.6 million, with the opening of the first cell of the new landfill expected to cost approximately $5 million, according to city officials. Both entities are expected to face similar costs one a second and third cell for the facility, which would be built over an estimated 20-year period.

Also during Tuesday's meeting, the council is expected to consider:

• Discussion and approval of hiring a city planner.
• Discussion and consideration of changes to city personnel policies.
• Emergency reading of an ordinance imposing a moratorium on permitting of modular or industrialized housing units and developments and the use of travel trailers or recreational vehicles as living quarters for extended periods within the city limits with a moratorium to be made effective for 90 days.
• Discussion of using outside contractors to install city services.
Tuesday's meeting is expected to get under way at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, located at 307 E. Fourth Street. Fore more information call 264-2401. Also, a complete copy of the meeting agenda can be found online at www.mybigspring.com

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