Stefanie Cope

Staff Writer

Onlookers at the Cherokee County Commission meeting Monday were once again subjected to a heated discussion on if a new landfill should be opened in Cherokee County for construction and demolition debris from Joplin, Mo.

Kyle Phillips of Herzog Contracting presented a request to the commissioners to pursue opening a landfill in East Cherokee County. The land they wanted to use was next to Highway 400. Phillips said Herzog was trying to obtain a two year emergency permit from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Phillips also told commissioners Herzog would offer the county $.75 a ton for a hosting fee. Phillips said Herzog was also looking into the possibility of opening a municipal solid waste facility on the land.

Phillips told the commission they had obtained letters from a few of the adjacent land owners and were in discussions with a church that also has adjoining land.

Phillips also said there would only currently be about 500,000 tons of waste coming to the landfill if it were opened, but the number could go up.

Cherokee County Commissioner Jack Garner told Phillips he thought it was too nice a property to open a landfill. Garner said he felt using the property for a landfill would be a detriment to the county. He also said he had received numerous calls from residents who were against the landfill.

Cherokee County Commissioner Richard Hilderbrand also told Phillips that he had received numerous phone calls against the opening of another landfill. He said his constituents were very adamant about being against the landfill.

John Archer, who owns a large amount of land adjoining the property, said he had spoken with an attorney and was prepared to file an injunction if he had to. Archer told Phillips that opening a landfill in that area would be similar to taking all the garbage from a garage and putting it in the living room.

Archer asked Phillips if there would be hazardous materials coming out to the proposed landfill. Phillips told Archer there would be screening processes in place to keep hazardous materials out of the landfill.

Randy Beyer told the commission if they accepted this request then the testing would go on for three or four days and the landfill site would be prepped and running by early next week.

Tim Kent, an environmental specialist for the Quapaw Tribe told commissioners the land was historic land and the tribe would have objections to the landfill being opened in that spot.

Herzog withdrew their request for permission.

Tamara Landes of Keller Williams and Fred Pickett also came to the commission requesting approval for opening an emergency disposal area around 100th and Wyandotte.

Landes told the commissioners the area is an already existing landfill. Commissioners then told Landes they would need more information about what the plans for the landfill were and also told Landes they needed to speak with the people in the area and explain the plans to the residents.

Jan Bolin of CLASS LTD asked commissioners for $1,000,000 for the CLASS budget next year. Bolin said they would also be receiving grant funds, but CLASS has been struggling with some expenses.

Bolin also told commissioners CLASS continues to be a nationally acredited program and they currently serve Cherokee County citizens who have developmental disabilities. Bolin said they also provide family member support and a network of community services.

She said they are serving 73 people at CLASS currently and have had to cut back on employees. Bolin also told commissioners CLASS contributes around $6,000,000. Bolin said in 2010 Class was allocated $101,000. The commissioners told Bolin they would check the budget and see how much they could offer to Class.

John Green of the Southeast Kansas Area Agency on Aging came to the commissioners to discuss the budget for next year as well.

Green said they offer services to individuals over 60 in the area including one time services like grab bars, show chairs, food supplements, air conditioners and ramps.

Green said they served 27,000 meals in Cherokee County last year. He also said they offer homemakerís services for some individuals. He said these services include light housekeeping and fixing a meal about three times a week. He said last year they had about 4,000 hours in the homemakerís services and have a smaller staff this year.

Commissioners told Green they would look into the budget and see how they could help.

Commissioners voted to allow Cherokee County Commissioner Pat Collins for his $40 for his cell phone usage while on county business.