PRINCETON — Gibson County Solid Waste Management District hourly employees will likely receive the same 40-cent hourly pay increase that employees of the county will get in 2018, but the matter will come to a vote at the 8 a.m. Dec. 27 board meeting.

Executive Director Mike Stilwell reported Monday that a wage increase hasn't been approved yet, and asked board members if they plan to follow the same increase that Gibson County employees will get.

Stilwell, who is also a Gibson County Councilman, said the county budgeted for 40 cent raises for hourly employees.

Attorney Bob Kinkle told Stilwell he should contact the Teamsters Union, which represents union members employed by the solid waste district. Board members agreed to consider the matter at their last meeting of the year.

Stilwell reported the district is gearing up for the holiday rush, and said a new employee is doing preventative maintenance on the district's vehicles.

He said the district's tipping fees increased $2 per ton, but the district will still save about $75,000 by not paying tipping fees for the City of Princeton since the city moved to privatized trash collection.

He also reported that the costs for disposing of tires, fluorescent bulbs and electronics are increasing. The district is paying 25 cents per pound for electronics (about $20,000 this year) and has paid 1,626 to dispose of bulbs. The district increased the fee for disposing of tires from $2 to $3 to cover its expenses. Stilwell said he will bring a proposal to the board for consideration of a fee structure for disposing of electronics.

While those expenses have increased, Stilwell and comptroller Vada Ferry said the district's in good financial standing. When the December property tax settlement is disbursed, the district will have a balance of about $1.5 million, they reported. "We're getting close to making $100,000 a year on recyclables," Stilwell reported, noting that the district hardly made any recycling revenue five years ago. Ferry said the revenue realized from recycling is just one side of the picture. The district has also saved money on fuel and manpower by not hauling those items to the landfill. "We used make 50 to 60 runs per month, now it's about five or six runs per month," said Stilwell.

The board agreed to encumber $15,420 to purchase a new compactor for the Princeton compactor station at the Gibson County Recycle Center. The one in use at the center will be moved to the Francisco site. Stilwell said once a better compactor is installed at the Johnson site, the district should be in good shape for 20 to 25 years.

Board members approved Stilwell's plans to close the solid waste sites and compost yard on Saturday, Dec. 23 for the Christmas holiday and Saturday, Dec. 30 for the New Year's holiday. Sites reopen the day after Christmas and on Jan. 2.

He said the compost yard will also be open Dec. 26 and Jan. 2, and beginning in January, will be open Monday through Saturday. Starting in February, the plan is to move the compost yard operating hours to the same as the rest of the compactor stations: Tuesday through Saturday.

Board member Steve Bottoms asked whether it's feasible to open the Princeton compactor station on Mondays. Stilwell said he would look into the issue.

In other matters, Stilwell said there's no agreement yet for moving the Patoka compactor site on the former Dream Motel property. He said he hopes to learn more about whether a potential sale of the property is accomplished in coming weeks. He said he has also expressed interest about acquiring property on the south side of the Recycle Center for potential expansion.

In other business at Monday's meeting, board members approved fund transfers to cover expenses to the end of the year, including: $400 from overtime budget to controller, $15,544 from compactor operator to truck driver, expenses as needed from overtime to part time pay, $503.25 from fuel and oil to tires and tubes, $247.45 from fuel and oil to compactor site miscellaneous, $61.25 from fuel and oil to maintenance supplies and $43,107 from equipment and Gibson County Recycle Center fund to truck fund.

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