Because China last year stopped taking certain recyclables, including mixed paper and most plastics, from other countries, Allen County’s electronics recycler asked to increase fees.
Allen County Commissioners Therese Brown and Nelson Peters voted during their weekly meeting July 26 to pay contractor Electronic Recyclers International Indiana an extra $40,000 compared to last year.
“The world recycling markets are in upheaval because of changes in China last year,” Tom Fox, director of Allen County Department of Environmental Management, told the commissioners. Commissioner Richard Beck was absent.
With China’s doors closed, ERI is getting less money for cathode ray tube screens used in computers and TVs.
The county had a 3-year contract to pay 10 cents per pound and now will pay 15 cents. Items that had been free to haul away will now cost 10 cents per pound, Fox said.
However, the eventual cost is “a moving target,” Fox said, because the county pays by weight, and electronics are getting lighter, he said. No one is trying to get rid of console TVs.
“While we’re collecting as much material, as many or more people are using it, the weights are going down,” he said.
Also, Fox negotiated down the higher price that ERI wanted to charge after he asked other communities at a May Indiana Household Hazardous Waste Task Force meeting what they were paying, he said.
Fox also got the commissioners’ approval for $160,000 that the county will pay the city of Fort Wayne in quarterly installments for yard waste mulching. After a fire in the county’s tub grinder, the county decided to sell it. Previously, it provided the grinder and paid the city by the ton of what it brought in. Now it won’t have to pay an employee to operate the grinder plus other costs.
Allen County businesses and residents can drop off yard waste at the Bio‐solids Handling Facility, 6202 Lake Ave., Fort Wayne. A small fee is charged.
Hoagland and Harlan will be getting lights and park equipment as part of NewAllen Stellar Communities.
NewAllen represented the community and economic development concerns of Leo-Cedarville, Grabill, Harlan, New Haven, Woodburn, Monroeville and Hoagland in a bid to get money from the state. In September, NewAllen submitted a 232-page written plan that details a $64 million list of projects spread out among the communities in the alliance. It was notified in December that it was eligible for $4.5 million in Stellar Communities funding.
DLZ Indiana, LLC will receive $173,400 for professional services related to the Hoagland-Harlan project, as approved by the commissioners.
The commissioners also approved:
• Paying Primco, Inc., the lowest of three bidders, $619,243.76 for concrete repairs to 33% of the streets in the Scotia Subdivision near Aboite Center and West Hamilton roads. Allen County Highway Director Bill Hartman said after the meeting that the streets are 44 years old, and the life expectancy for concrete streets is 30 years. The neighborhood is toward the top of a survey of county concrete streets that need to be repaired.
• Spending $721,818 for preliminary engineering services by LPA-Consulting for Fogwell Parkway from Lafayette Center to Lower Huntington roads. The project, previously estimated to cost $8.9 million, including engineering work, will reconstruct and upgrade the 1-mile section of Fogwell Parkway in Lafayette Township that’s used for General Motors Truck Assembly suppliers and others.
The project will include new pavement underdrains, curbs and gutters, and guardrail, signs and drainage upgrades as needed. Fogwell Parkway has been damaged from years of heavy truck traffic, an ineffectual original underdrain system and adverse weather effects, according to a previous county government statement.
• Awarding low bidder Brooks Construction Co., Inc. nearly $1.27 million for seven repaving projects.
• Putting $19,500 into professional services on the 2019 Phase One Roof Replacement Project at the Allen County Jail. The roof has 19 sections as the jail expanded over the years, and three sections need repaired at a cost of $300,000, said commissioners chief of staff Chris Cloud. The contract will go to MartinRiley, but is pending approval from the county attorney.