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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Paul Klose Named for MarOco Landfill Director

Issue Date: July 19, 2017

John LeFebvre, who several months ago was named Marinette County Administrator, is training Conservation Technician Paul Klose to replace him as director of the MarOco Landfill west of Crivitz. He introduced Klose to the MarOco Landfill Committee at its monthly meeting at the landfill on Friday, July 14, and said Klose would become manager of the landfill effective Sunday, July 16.

MarOco has been jointly owned by Marinette and Oconto counties since 1990. LeFebvre supervised construction of the landfill and has been director since the first load of garbage was received on July 5, 1989.

The landfill, with LeFebvre at the helm, is governed by a joint committee made up currently of supervisors Clancy Whiting, Robert Holley, and Alfred Sauld from Marinette County and supervisors Robert Pott (chair), Jim Lacourciere, and Robert Reinhart from Oconto County.

Klose has been a Marinette County employee working in the Land Information Department under the leadership of LeFebvre for 27 years, mostly involved with design and construction of agricultural runoff and manure storage projects.

LeFebvre said Klose has done everything he needs to do and passed all the tests he needs to take to become the landfill manager. He cannot become landfill administrator until he has at least a year of experience with the landfill, so until that happens and he passes a new set of tests, LeFebvre will remain officially as director and will sign reports and legal documents.

"If I had left for other employment in some other area you would probably have needed to hire someone with experience, or hire someone with experience to work long enough to train Paul. "Whatever I do (for the landfill) from now on, Paul will do it with me," LeFebvre added.

He said Klose does not have much experience with the financial side of things, so former County Conservationist Greg Cleereman, who has replaced LeFebvre as head of the Land Information Department, will help the office staff prepare bills for payment and work with him on budget and financial reports.

Jeff Fredrick is a certified landfill operator, as is Scale Attendant Teri Taylor so required certified personnel are available at the landfill. Klose will continue doing his conservation technician work, but is able to be at the landfill whenever needed, LeFebvre said. Bob Champeau, another Land Information employee, also will be available as a fill-in operator. Klose is to take his certification test in September and a year from now should be taking his director's license.

Financial report for the first half of 2017 show that MarOco received nearly 2,000 tons less of refuse than for the same period in 2016, mainly as a result of sales to GAD, which is delivering its loads mainly to the Brown County Landfill, and to the end of an agreement through which most Oconto County waste was required to come to MarOco.

There were 6,081 loads weighting 7,358 tons hauled into MarOco during the first six months of 2017, for total charges of $423,976. This compares to 7,149 loads weighing 9.938 and total charges of $552,976 brought in during the first half of 2016.

Landfill tipping fees rose from $52 to $55 per ton in 2016, and at $55 per ton that drop in tonnage coming in means more than $100,000 less revenue than last year at this time. The six month revenue is only $85,631.50, far less than half of the $347,000 that had been predicted for the year in the annual budget.

There was some discussion on what other landfills charge for disposal, and LeFebvre said the larger landfills like Brown and Outagamie counties almost certainly charge less, while the privately owned landfill in Menominee adjusts charges for various contracts and favors its own haulers. LeFebvre said the MarOco rate per ton for general customers at the gate is lower than the Menominee landfill. Holley noted a man talked to him about paying $43 per ton for demolition waste at the GAD transfer station in Niagara. Refuse delivered ther is hauled to a landfill in Munising, Mich. The 2016 audit report from Schenck finds that the cost per ton is $63, with long term care and closure contributions included. Rates in addition to the $55 per ton set on Jan. 1, 2016 include $200 per ton for tires and $1 per bag for garbage brought in small amounts.

Despite the unusual amount of rain this year, so far the amount of leachate hauled away is down, so cost is down too, at least temporarily. There were 6,861 tons of materials, mostly leachate, hauled out of the landfill during the first six months of 2017, compared with 8,223 tons in the first half of 2016 and only 4,774 tons during the same period of 2015.

LeFebvre warned this is temporary and they should expect a big jump in July and predicted there will be the largest amount of leachate ever hauled in a single month. "It's there, you just aren't seeing yet," he said.

He explained the active "cell" has more refuse in it this year than last, so it takes longer for rain to seep through and get into the leachate collection system.

LeFebvre said MarOco will almost certainly end the year again with an operating loss, and asked if the committee was comfortable with that. There is money in reserve, but each year there is a loss reduces the amount of initial investment the counties will get back when the facility closes.

Holley noted that less trash hauled in means a longer life for the landfill. LeFebvre agreed that it does, "but it doesn't do much for our bottom line!"

Whiting asked if the DNR would have a problem with an operating loss, and if it would eventually deplete the reserves that need to be kept for long term care and closure. LeFebvre said that theoretically could happen, "but not in my lifetime." He said they are not behind yet on deposits to the funds, despite a loss last year also, but interest rates are the key. If interest goes up even slightly the funds will be fine.

LeFebvre said the long term care and closure money is set aside in special funds. The only problem he had with the DNR recently was with timing of year-end financial reports, and that has been taken care of.

Other reports show the landfill continues to be quite heavily used on the first and third Saturdays of the month that it is open, from May through October, particularly when the weather is fine. The landfill has had first and third Saturday openings since 2006.

LeFebvre distributed copies of the 2016 audit report, which committee members are to study at home and then accept it at the next meeting.

The landfill just received the new Cat loader, which LeFebvre said cam with a lot of bells and whistles that include a satellite tracking system so the manufacturers can track hours of use for maintenance and guarantee issues. It also has a very smooth ride. One result of the rains this year has been a drop in the amount of windblown litter.

The August committee meeting will include preliminary 2018 budget discussions, with the public hearing and submission to the two county boards in September.

MarOco is built on a 126-acre site, with 18 acres in active landfill. Capacity is 1,500,000 cubic yards, or about 900,000 tons, and remaining site life is estimated at 21 years, at an average of 18,000 tons a year.


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