Duane Dinnel sworn in as commissioner; debate continues on solid waste agency

    Duane Dinnel attended his first meeting as a Chase County Commissioner Jan. 12.
    Jacci Brown was selected board chairman during the meeting. Dennis Kunnemann will serve as vice chairman.
    The future of the Southwest Solid Waste agency continues to be a concern for the commissioners.
    Kunnemann asked if the county taking over SWA was a viable option. Brown said she doesn’t want to make a proposal if the county isn’t serious.
    Deputy County Attorney Rory Roundtree said City of Imperial attorney Josh Wendell suggested the county prepare an offer for the city.
    Imperial Mayor Dwight Coleman was open to the idea as well, Kunnemann said.
    In Roundtree’s proposal for the county to take over, the city would be given the recycling center and its property and equipment and the city would have no contractual obligation. The commissioners discussed a buyout of around $400,000.
    Roundtree’s proposal did not release the city from any liability since the city has been running SWA in the absence of its board. Roundtree said any third party liability claim would be decided by a court.
    Brown was uncomfortable with this after the county balked at the city’s proposed contract which didn’t release the county from liability.
    Dinnel said he doesn’t want to see the county own SWA, but wants to be sure the county has options if a city-run site is not available.
    Brown wants to see the county stay in it and the SWA board run the agency. By SWA board member Larry Carpenter’s estimate, SWA would need three full time employees.
    The commissioners did agree to offer compromises on the city’s proposed contract, including making the first right of refusal for the transfer station only and leaving the city the option to break the contract after 10 years.
    In other business, Karen Baker informed the commissioners that Arthur, Keith and Perkins counties want to join Chase, Dundy, Furnas, Hayes, Hitchcock and Red Willow counties in Southwest Juvenile Services. The move has been approved by the Southwest Juvenile Services board and was approved by the commissioners.
    The next meeting of the commissioners will be Jan. 26 at the Chase County Courthouse.


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