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Board will not commit to enforcing waste agreement but wants money back from URS

Board will not commit to enforcing waste agreement but wants money back from URS

It may take a couple of days to gather all the information to flesh out what happened in today’s BOC meeting but Commissioner Parry was on full offense when it came to the subject of the solid waste department and referred to enforcing an agreement as “using a sledgehammer” on poor ole Waste Connections. The independent engineer, Brady Consulting, released its assessment of the Beaver Hill facility and harshly criticized an earlier study prepared by URS. From the Brady Report on Beaver Hill Incinerator

Prior to my visit to this facility, I reviewed a report dated March, 2010 titled “Coos County Solid Waste
Consulting” prepared by URS Corporation, ACS Incorporated and Bell & Associates in which Terrill Chang of URS Corporation included an Inspection Report dated December 21, 2009. Based on my personal findings, that report contains numerous very serious mistakes which misled me into expecting a much different incinerator facility than that which I found. The “Summary” in that report opens with a paragraph which reads “Overall, the incinerator and APC system are in good condition. Structurally the incinerators are sound, but all are in need of some steelwork and patching. The refractory is in fair to-good condition with only a few spots that will need to be repaired in the near future. The air-to-air heat exchangers and the baghouse, along with their ancillary equipment, looked to be in very good shape and need little more than the regular maintenance they are getting now.” Based on my inspection, none of those statements are true nor could they have been true at the time. A proper inspection was not conducted in December of 2009. Even the photographs in that report support my conclusion that whoever conducted this earlier inspection had little or no experience with incineration systems, air pollution control systems or refractory. Had there been a proper internal inspection of the component parts, the report would have been much different. My report will present a very different picture of the actual condition of this entire facility, then and now.

Components of the URS report have been criticized before, namely its calculations on the life of the ash trench and as you can see the above assessment of URS is quite damning. Terrill Chang at URS has not responded to my request for a comment. The Brady report says, “Under no conditions should this plant be placed back in operation.” What happened to the site since it was shutdown a couple of weeks ago and staff laid off and what has happened to the facility in the last two years since the URS report? Why was Cheryl Westgaard at Beaver Hill getting quotes for trash hauling as far back as last December? Who is the public supposed to believe, URS or Brady? There is no question this board prefers to accept the latter and today Parry claimed that county counsel was exploring the possibility of demanding a refund for the $37K URS study. When pressed about enforcing an agreement with Waste Connections for $700K to $1 million the board was silent with the exception of Parry offering excuses about not using sledgehammers and speaking to engineers and, oh yeah, making sure we have a legal position to enforce the agreement? The video will be very revealing and Parry’s animosity toward Sanne shines through again but Sanne handled it with aplomb.

Much more to come when I hear back from URS and other sources and not discussed today was why the site has stopped all metal reclamation which last year earned $250K in just three months of cumulative operation.

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About magix

When my oldest son, a Marine, left for war and crossed the border from Kuwait into Iraq in March 2003 I started writing my conscience. After two tours that young combat veteran’s mother is now an ardent peace activist and advocate for social, environmental and economic justice. MGx has matured since those early vents and ramblings and now covers relevant and important local and regional matters in addition to national and global affairs.


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6 Responses to "Board will not commit to enforcing waste agreement but wants money back from URS"

  1. Colandrio  March 21, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    One of the first things I heard when I moved here twenty years ago was this saying: “If you decide to move to Coos County, be sure you bring enough money to move away because you’ll never find it here.”

  2. themguys  March 21, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Right in front of our eyes. This isn’t even stealth. They are just doing it and FU to the taxpayers/voters. They will take down ORCCA, and take over their money-feed, they will sell out to Waste Connections, and what are YOU going to do about it ? To those of us who CHOSE to move here, thinking Coos County was on the verge of “taking off”, which is touted to this day by the Chamber, SCDC, etc. ? I believed them. But it didn’t take me long to realize it was all a lie, and there were serious financial skullduggery going on in Coos County. Okay, they’ve been identified, and their latest two moves have gone on right in front of us, and the population sits, ignorantly believing the Job Messiahs. THIS is what the voters want, this is why this county will NEVER pull it’self out of the hole these Messiahs’ put us in, and the voters hand it all over with barely a whimper. Boy, I’ve never watched such a thing happen in any state I’ve ever lived in. Never.

  3. Toland  March 21, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    Yay Mary, you did it again! Can the World ever hope to come up with your quality, researched and incisive reporting? They haven’t even reported on the “Minority Report” for the ill conceived “Structure Committ” …what a joke! I wonder how many $ the BOC spent on this report. Interesting that it seems to refute the previous report in 2009 – I must admit I haven’t had time to study it yet. I don’t beleve the BOC hired a professional director since Skip Sumstine was fired when he lost hundreds of thousands of dollars under his watch. The former HR Director/Garbatge Man was no great shakes either. It’s obvious this was planned back int he days of Nikki/John Griffith/ etc. I wonder who holds stock in Waste Connections. One wonders to Whom is the connection? I’d bet on Freddie who seems to be “connected” to many of these solutions. Heard a rumor that he had shared there was quite a reward for landowners who were willing to sell to the FEDS. Poor Boy, he got a free road which is maintained by our Road Crew etc.

    At any rate it looks like Coos County wants to “contract out” our services to benefit other states…in this case Texas who now houses Waste Connections. Seems like the last time we contracted with a Texas company we had to go to court for the gas lines. We did win afater many years but whose poor judgement empoyed them. Seems like the same crowd is doing it again. I’m just saying……..what’s next? I guess we don’t need jobs here. I guess the “fat cats” can keep all out small businesses in business or can they?

  4. magix  March 21, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    The Brady Report affirms that $100K should have been put into maintenance each year whereas the county put $100K into a contingency account instead. Replacing 10% of the refractory and other components each year would have allowed a complete retrofit every ten years and the system would be healthy right now. The county budgets up to $200K in engineer to Dan Mumford, whose job it is to ensure the system stays safe and operates correctly. Mumford picked Brady but this looks like a condemnation of Mumford’s stewardship

  5. aghast!  March 21, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    With millions of dollars at stake a third opinion might be worth it. Let the public pick the engineer this time.

  6. ima curious  March 20, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Why is the county counsel stonewalling the citizen who requested copies of the Waste Connections agreements? What is there or not there?


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