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Op-ed: Treasure at the landfill (by Otis Lewis)


This news story was published on February 3, 2012.
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Time for reflection, the NO VOTE was predictable.  (1st part)

Possible Solution!  (2nd part)

Op-Ed by Otis Lewis

The controversy surrounding the CES/ERS proposal to build a waste to energy facility in North Iowa has been interesting to watch, yet educational at the same time.

The most prevalent issue in all of this was, “Hurry UP”. Get this approved! That alone was the biggest red flag. I don’t have an issue at all, with a waste to energy facility; in fact I believe it will eventually happen. They are springing up all over the nation in one form or another. The NO vote was predictable. CES/ERS proposed this to an uninformed and trusting community, in a hasty and bullying manner.

It was obvious from the onset that Mayor Bookmeyer and City Council are amateurs who acted like bullies at times. Also disappointing was Cerro Gordo’s yes vote that blindly followed Mason City’s. I believe you have Supervisor Jay Urdahl to blame for that stupid yes vote by Cerro Gordo County. He has clearly aligned himself with Mayor Bookmeyer!

Now that this phase of the process has run it’s course let us recommend to the North Iowa Land Fill Board, a new process be started that will perform the following steps and bring resolution to the newly discovered “treasure” at the Land Fill.

FIRST QUESTION FOR THE NORTH IOWA LAND FILL

What are our Goals for the people of North Iowa who have to pay for this Land Fill required by LAW to handle our waste?

THE MOST IMPORTANT AND OVERRIDING GOAL OF THE NORTH IOWA LAND FILL MEMBERS SHOULD BE, COST CONTAINMENT.

Creating jobs is one thing, but doing so at the cost of the taxpayers with tipping fees at $13.00 per minimum load is a conflicting notion.

Let’s get our priorities in the right order!

1. Hire a professional consultant with expertise in waste conversion, to provide the North Iowa Land Fill all the current options and future possibilities available to turn waste into a profit for the taxpayers of North Iowa. Look for ways to reduce our tipping fees in the process. Currently $13.00 is the minimum amount charged to the public to take a load of garbage to the dump and that is far too expensive. If any one is going to profit from the waste then that profit should be used to reduce the publics cost to run and use the Land Fill!

2. Location of this facility should be a high priority that reduces the long-term health risks for the citizens of North Iowa, should there be any.

3. After study and consultation, create a RFP (Request for Proposals) and put out a proposal for bids on a waste to profit facility. Notice I said waste to profit, if creating energy, is the best use of our waste to create profit from our newly found treasure (waste) then all the better.

4. Keep the taxpayers of North Iowa fully informed of everything you are doing. Public Hearings to explain the end results would be a good thing.

5. Please don’t bully the taxpayers during this process!

To conclude:

I want to wish the North Iowa Land Fill Members, all the best, in dealing with the fallout from Mason City’s elite and the Globe Gazette because of your no vote. Your fellow taxpayers will all thank you at the end of this process for your professional leadership dealing with the waste to profit process!

Good job.

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4 Responses to Op-ed: Treasure at the landfill (by Otis Lewis)

  1. Avatar

    Tim Brown Reply Report comment

    February 3, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    I would like to see, and would ask the stakeholds to put together, a committee to develope a process and standards all can agree upon.

    Having a process and standards inplace for the next opportunity sends the message we are prepared for success.

    Reommendations by the various boards, committees, government departments, and experts need to be addressed NOW to develope a comprehensive plan.

    Outlines of detailed information expected to be supplied by prospective new businesses and industry.

    The process of fact checking.

    A detailed overview of exactly what government agency processes, protections, and expectations.

    The strengths and weeknesses of process revealed over the last months need to be addressed NOW.

    This has been a learning process. Learn from it. Learn to appreciate all the stakeholder needs and adapt for the future.

    I am saddened more could not have been acomplished.

    However, everyone involved with the process thus far deserves a pat on the back! Everyone! GOOD JOB!

    Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Clear Lake, North Iowa Corridor EDC, LNI, North Iowa WE CAN DO BETTER!

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      February 3, 2012 at 8:12 pm

      Tim Brown must like to hear himself talk. No Kudo’s for Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, North Iowa Corridor EDC. If they would have had their way this boondoggle would have been run down our throats.

      This article says it best and Tim Brown is a johnny come lately who obviously is in bed with the elite and feels like he needs to massage their bruised ego.

      Nice try brown but no bananas!

  2. Avatar

    Larry Reply Report comment

    February 3, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Great article. Very professional approach.

  3. Avatar

    Watchdog Reply Report comment

    February 3, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Hey Otis, you just took the thunder out of next Sundays Globe Gazette editorial!

    Great article and right on point.