Allen County Commissioners

From left, the Allen County Board of Commissioners is Nelson Peters, Richard Beck and Therese Brown.

The first meeting of the new year for the Allen County Board of Commissioners saw them weigh a hefty increase of over $169,000, in the county’s drop-off recycling program.

Tom Fox, director of Allen County Department of Environmental Management, came with an amendment to the contract with Republic Services for the county’s drop-off recycling trailers. Republic operates five drop-off sites with staff for the county; a sixth in Monroeville is unstaffed.

The current agreement began in February 2017. The contract had an option to extend the agreement at the end of the three years. The county approached Republic Services about a 2-year extension a few months ago, but the company declined, Fox said.

In spring 2018, China changed its policy and “virtually rejected any materials coming into the country for recycling. I think the world became aware of just how dependent the world was on China for processing these materials. The markets are still reeling from that. And as a result, currently, the bottom has just fallen out of the recycling market, so the profit motivation just isn’t there for companies like Republic.”

That left the county with three options: offering a request for proposal for a new provider, discontinue the drop-off program or work with Republic.

Fox said his department, if it got any proposals, would not see a better pricing option and ending the program seemed counter to what it was trying to do. So it worked out an agreement to extend the contract for one year at a “substantial increase in cost,” Fox said. It will maintain.

Currently, the county pays Republic $4,300 a month per staffed site and $365 each time it pulls a trailer at Monroeville. The total annual cost of the program now is $296,000. The change, beginning Feb. 1, would be to pay $7,122.92 for each staffed sites with the Monroeville cost remaining the same. That increases the total cost to $465,375, about 57% more. It would give the market a year to possibly level off and time for the county to rework the program to the changing “recycling world,” Fox said.

The commissioners also approved the following:

• A settlement of $9,000 for Rolando Jordan and Ronald Ward to drop their lawsuit filed in United States District Court, Northern District of Indiana, that included Allen County Sheriff David Gladieux as a defendant. Jordan, Ward and a third man, Kenneth Rollingcloud, had filed a lawsuit in 2017 alleging that as Muslim and/or Native American inmates in the Allen County Jail they weren’t permitted weekly gatherings for their faiths as Protestant Christians were.

• A settlement of $4,500 for in the case of Patrick Davis v Paul Cole, Jeb Berning, Trevor Braun, Robert Mccullough and David Gladieux. Spencer Feighner, representing the sheriff’s department, said this the second settlement in the case. Patrick Davis was a jail detainee who alleged that excessive force was used against him. During his detainment, Davis’ brother was murdered. “He had some severe feelings and reactions to that” and was placed under more supervision to prevent any self-harm. “Forced was used against him to extract him from his cell,” Feighner said, but it was not felt to be excessive by the department. However, because it would be disputed in a court trial, the department “we thought it prudent to resolve the case for amount less than we would spend to try the case.”

Commissioner Nelson Peters commented, “Another of those pesky, nuisance settlements.”

• A contract for $26,500 with ALTA for a more thorough survey of the land where Byron Health Center now sits. The county plans to sell the land.

• A 3-year contract through March 2023 for a total of $27,000 with Maximus Consulting Services. Maximus oversees costs, such as payroll, related to the courts’ IV-D of the Federal Social Security Act child support collection services, Chris Nancarrow, clerk of Allen Circuit and Superior courts, told the commissioners. The courts can get reimbursed for those costs from the federal government.

• A contact with Indiana Department of Child Services for Youth Services Center of Allen County, 11805 Lima Road, Fort Wayne to provide emergency shelter for children in DCS’ care. Chris Dunn, executive director, presented the contract, which has a rate of $440.47.

• A sixth-month contract with BI Inc. that extends the warranty for offender monitoring software and hardware. Jeff Stevens, assistant deputy director for Allen County Community Corrections, said the contract, for nearly $36,200, covers about 99 pieces that the county owns. It rents about 350 other pieces.

• The commissioners played a little musical chairs at their first meeting of the year. Therese Brown became president, Rich Beck vice president and Peters secretary, so Brown and Peters switched seats.

Beck will serve on the Allen County Plan Commission, Consolidated Communications Partnership and Allen County-Fort Wayne Development Trust boards; Brown on the Greater Fort Wayne Inc., Downtown Improvement District, Urban Transportation Advisory and Allen County Childcare Facilities boards; and Peters on the Allen County Emergency Management Advisory Board, Northeast Indiana Innovation Center, Visit Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership boards.

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