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Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

And now another word from our sponsor – Trail Ridge Landfill

Lots of questions remain to be answered on the Trail Ridge Landfill issue.

One interesting little find I came across regarding the Trail Ridge Landfill –  it seems the City’s Ordinance Code has some very interesting requirements in Chapter 656.  Specifically, the disposal area or footprint for any Class I sanitary landfill must be at least eight miles from the disposal area or footprint of any operational or fully permitted Class I sanitary landfill, which is fully permitted, under construction or operational or which has received a certificate of public convenience and necessity under Chapter 380, Ordinance Code, for the operation of a Class I sanitary landfill.

So let’s see, the footprint of the existing Trail Ridge Landfill is  144 acres according to the City’s original position.  And according to the TU article, the City wants to build Phase I of the landfill expansion right next to the current footprint.  Is that going to meet the 8 mile distance requirement in the City Ordinance Code?  But, if  the original footprint of the landfill was the entire site as Waste Management has argued, then wouldn’t they have to go at least 8 miles away from those 978 acres to build a landfill?  I wonder if someone may have to apply for an exception to the Ordinance Code in either case?

I wonder if the 500 acres the City purchased in January 2009 from ICI Villages for expansion of the landfill is still zoned agriculture? It was nothing but timberland when ICI Villages bought it in 2006.   And I don’t think they had done anything to it before they sold it to the City under threat of eminent domain.  I wonder if someone may have to request a rezoning of this newly acquired land to change it to PBF – now that it’s going to become part of a Public Buildings and Facility zoned site?

You know, there are several interested bidders and lots of angry citizens out there who are not in favor of the no-bid contract.  Could defending a lawsuit for awarding the contract to Waste Management without putting it out to bid be just the start of the City’s legal woes over the Trail Ridge Landfill?

Giving someone a 35 year contract and having them agree to take on all of the liabilities for the operations, closure, and post-closure requirements is akin to essentially selling the landfill property and its operations. That raises another question.  If it’s akin to selling the landfill property and its operations, why doesn’t the City just sell the landfill property and its operations to the highest bidder, making a deal as to the rate the City will pay for it’s trash for the life of the landfill (or adjust the purchase price so the City doesn’t have to pay anything), and then have the new owner pay property taxes on the 978 acre property valued at just under $2 million? 

Wouldn’t that be a better deal?

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