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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

County officials discuss contracts for trash compactors

By Charlene Sims,

MOUND CITY – On Monday, Jan. 29, the Linn County Commission, County Counselor Gary Thompson and Public Works Director Shaun West discussed what the agreements for the operation of trash compactors with cities and lake communities would look like.

Commissioner Danny McCullough had asked about the progress of the contracts and Thompson said he questioned whether the commissioners wanted each contract tailored to fit a specific location.

McCullough said that each agreement should be the same across the board.

Commission Chair Jason Hightower said that each community has different needs.

Thompson pointed out that each location was different. 

While the container is picked up and replaced by the county at each location, Centerville compactor site is owned and operated by the county, Linn Valley owns their compactor and does not have an operator, and the homeowner associations at Tanglewood and Sugar Valley lake developments do not have operators. 

The cities of Parker, Pleasanton, Mound City, La Cygne, Prescott and Blue Mound hire and pay the compactor operators. Some of these sites still have telephone service paid for by the county and some have their utilities paid for by the county.

West had expressed concerns that the county held the permits for all the sites and operators and cities did not understand they were under certain regulations. West thought if each location was responsible for its own permit, they would understand the regulations that they had to follow.

Issues had come up in the past. For example, a city moved its building without getting approval from the state or informing the county which holds the permit. 


West said he thought if each site had to hold its own permit, it would give them ownership of that location. 

McCullough expressed disappointment that after holding a meeting with the cities last year and asking them to come back with their ideas about how the agreement should look, no representatives for the cities came back with ideas.

Give them the freedom to do what they want, walk them through getting their permitting and then we provide the equipment,” said McCullough.

Hightower said that the cities in his district, La Cygne and Linn Valley, were in favor of having an agreement but questioned why take it on when it was already working.

Hightower reminded the commissioners that it wasn’t only residents of the city that used the compactors because rural residents used them as well. 

County Clerk David Lamb said that one difference about Linn Valley is that it is a gated community and people outside of there could not use it. 

After the discussion, Thompson said that clarified for him the direction commissioners wanted to take in rewritings the contracts. 

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