OSS Joint Solid Waste Management District Board votes on agreements

The Board of Directors of the Ottawa-Sandusky-Seneca County Joint Solid Waste Management District voted unanimously Thursday to approve an amended host agreement and a settlement release agreement with Tunnel Hill Partners, the company that owns and operates Sunny Farms Landfill in Fostoria.

Seneca County Commissioner Holly Stacy was absent from the meeting, and therefore did not vote on the agreements.

The Board went into executive session immediately as the meeting commenced at 2 p.m. to speak about a disposal fee dispute with Sunny Farms Landfill and the two agreements it later approved. The agreements related to the disposal fee dispute and other issues raised between the Board and Sunny Farms Landfill.

The Board exited executive session about 2:30 p.m. and opened a discussion with three representatives from Tunnel Hill Partners who were present: CEO John Lamanna, Senior Vice President of Landfill and Rail Operations Matthew Neely and Director of Community Relations Ben Nutter.

The Board first expressed concern over a new rail scale that has yet to begin operating at the landfill.

“We’ve had four attempts at certification for the scale: first a load sensor was damaged, and we couldn’t calibrate the scale at that point. Then we had a readout issue with the scale, and we still couldn’t certify it,” Neely said.

“The next time we had an issue with a code reading,” he said. “We’re trying as hard as we can to get the scale certified.”

Neely said that the next attempt at certifying the scale for use is to be July 25.

“I’ve been told this before, but I have been told we should be clear sailing from there after that,” he said.

“And the new scale will be continually checked on a schedule by the manufacturer, so we can provide quantitative evidence that it does work,” Nutter said.

A spokesperson for the Board asked what Sunny Farms Landfill had been doing to in the meantime to ensure the integrity of the waste they were transferring at Sunny Farms.

“The rail cars are weighed at their origin on certified scales, and the cars can’t be overloaded beyond their max weight anyway because of the railroad’s scales for them,” Neely said. “There are a couple of scales between us and their origin point as well.”

Lamanna added that anyone who wanted to check the data about weights at the landfill could do so, “because the data we have is local, we have everything available.”

“We’ve informed all of our customers that we’ll weigh at the landfill,” Lamanna added.

The agreements are to be signed by the Board soon, and their effective date is to be Aug. 1.

Upon voting, the Board entered another executive session to interview candidates for the open OSS Director position, as current Director Tim Wasserman is to retire soon.

The board was to interview three candidates Thursday, and expected to vote on their choice for the position after.

The results of the vote were not available Thursday evening.