11 June 2015

[TPC]- A Conversation with the Chairman

So...I finally got in touch with our Chairman. The following happened:

Ellis, in re Nord:

"He's done a good job...I think he's a honest guy... wish him the best."

I came in hot and heavy. Keith responded with this:

"To get the pumps up and running at Varner, you can go ahead and count on about $50K, if you turn it on, as I'm told...it's a major thing."

In regards to Nord being instructed to run or not to run the pumps when the levels at Varner were getting low:

"I can't speak to that...I don't know about any communications he may or may not have had with Tommy...but the way of doing things - not running the pumps when not necessary - had been policy with the previous two county managers."

When I asked him about the public perception:

"Well...it's like you're damned if you do, or damned if you don't...you have two major constraints - lake level and river level."

A concern about running the pumps when the Alcovy is low is mentioned...

When I asked him about the safe-yield analysis:

"That's when you know what you can provide on a day with the highest demand, like the 4th of July." When lots of folks are home and and a lot of usage."

When I asked about his opinion of the Water Authority's take on things, he nicely pivoted.

He talked about what the true capacity of Newton Co. water is. Doesn't think it's 25 million gallons due to antiquated piping system of some parts of the Newton Co. water supply. Specifically, the eastern and southern part of the counties that have smaller water pipes.

Regarding Taxes and the budget:

Basically thinks the budget is not good.

"Raising tipping fees - not a good idea."

"Landfill and recycling will always be a drain unless something is done."

Unhappy that many employees won't be getting a raise after a long time of not getting one.

Doesn't like seeing a millage increase.

Recycling Centers:

"I've been studying this for a long time."

According to Ellis - the actual contract for Hilliard is only approx. $450K. The rest is actually county operated. "Not much to work with."


Not under Hilliard's overview, per Ellis - rather it's a contract with the county directly with Maddox recycling operation on Washington St. (Keith made a point to mention that this isn't Levie's company, but rather his brother's).

When asked if he can get why citizens are worked up?



There was a lot more...but my head's hurtin.' Too much for one day.

Til next time...