HISTORY: WARRICK COUNTY SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT DISTRICT:
To understand the District, its functions and authorities we must understand the conception of the Solid Waste Management Districts within the State of Indiana.
The State Legislature: In late 1989 into 1990 State Legislators were provided with extensive information concerning a growing and perceived solid waste crisis that was felt to be looming. As the Legislator’s investigated they found that the local county disposal places (landfills) were rapidly declining in space and that if something was not done that the State would experiences the accumulation of solid waste with no place for it to go. County Governments were challenged by fiscal limitations and were not enthusiastic in developing or establishing waste diversion programs in their counties. The State Legislature recognized the concern and in 1990 created legislation which directed the formation of Solid Waste Management Districts in order to develop and implement Solid Waste Management Plans that would create recycling and other waste diversion programs in an effort to divert 50% of the waste being generated away from landfills.
In 1991 the Warrick County Solid Waste Management District was created. In accordance with State Requirements the Warrick County Solid Waste Management District Board of Directors (WCSWMD) was created. Currently the Board consisted of 7 members as follows;
1. 3 Commissioners – Terry Phillippe, Bob Johnson, & Dan Saylor
2. 1 County Council Representative – Greg Richmond
3. The Mayor of Boonville – Mayor Charlie Wyatt
4. Boonville City Council Representative – Jim Miller
5. A Member at Large from one of the Smaller Communities approved by the Commissioners –Ron Whitledge, Chandler Town Council
The State Legislature provided for the WCSWMD Board of Directors to develop its own budget for operations. The State Legislature also authorized the District to collect property taxes at a rate not to exceed $0.008 per $1000.00 of assessed property value for its operations. It further provided for user fees, tipping fees and a number of other fee schedules in order to provide the District with adequate funding. Goal: Keep trash out of the ever shrinking landfills.
WCSMD’s Board of Directors was responsible for all activities; as a separate quasi-governmental Agency operating separately from the County Commissioner and County Council direction and approval. The District Staff operated under Personnel Policies separate from the Warrick County Commissioner’s Program. Salaries are based upon the District’s Salary Plan. Benefits are provided by the District through an agreement with the County Commissioners, Fulltime District employees are able to receive medical benefits. The Costs of such Benefits are paid by the District to the County. District employees are not County Employees!
Once created the Boards first challenge was to create and implement a State Mandated Solid Waste Management Plan (WCSWMP). By years end this plan was created and the District began implementation of that Plan. The Board of Directors then established the Finances, Policies, Fees charged for services and hired the staffing needed to implement its Solid Waste Management Plan.
At this time the Warrick County Commissioners operated a Municipal Solid Waste Landfill on Pelzer Road, Boonville, Indiana which continued operations until 1992. The County Commissioners also established Waste Collection Facilities throughout the County in the 1970s which were in operation when the District was created. For this reason the WCSWMD worked with the Warrick County Commissioners to establish recycling collection drop-off centers at these waste collection locations in an attempt to meet the goals of District’s Solid Waste Management Plan.
In 2008 the State Legislature conducted a review of the Solid Waste Management Districts and deemed it desirable to have the District’s Budget undergo non-binding review so that the County Council would be aware of the Financial Aspects of the District and would provide an understanding of the needs and operational expenses needed by the District to meet its responsibilities.
In 2009 the County Commissioners and The District Board saw the advantage of combining the Waste Disposal Program controlled by the County Commissioners with the efforts being implemented by the District thereby placing all Solid Waste Management Activities under the authority of the Warrick County Solid Waste Management District. Employees of the Commissioner’s Program became Employees of the WCSWMD. This Program Continues today!
In 2010 the State Legislature further adjusted the County Council Authority to provide for binding review and approval of the District’s Budget. However, this adjustment left the responsibilities and authority over all remaining aspects under the control of the Warrick County SWMD Board of Directors who were still responsible for the development and oversight of the Budget being submitted to the County Council for Review.
The State Legislature allowed the WCSWMD Board to retain full authority to make special appropriations, acquire Bonds needed to conduct expansion of Programs, Development of Benefit and Job Performance Standards for Staffing, Hiring of Employees needed to conduct operations and planning, to set usage fees for trash disposal and all other activities related to the operation of the District under the control of the Warrick County Solid Waste Management Board of Directors without obtaining County Council Approval.
On January 01, 2012 the WCSWMD Board of Directors approved the District to begin doing business as (dba) the Warrick County Recycling & Resource Management District. The District currently operates 5 drop-off facilities. All 5 allow for the collection of recyclables and waste.