Landfill increases counties’ financial assurances

The Montmorency-Oscoda-Alpena Solid Waste Management Authority has decoded how it wants to invest some of the money it is saving from its new method of disposal.

After purchasing a new water cannon that sprays the leachate into the air in a mist and has much of it evaporated, the landfill is expected to save hundreds of thousands of dollars next year. On Friday the board voted to increase the amount of contribution the landfill gives each county from $75,000 in 2013 to $100,000 next year. It has only been a handful of years that the allocation was $30,000, but improved operations and leachate handling has seen the amount increase to $50,000 to $75,000 and now has hit six-digits. Alpena County Commissioner Cam Habermehl said the landfill is doing well financially and projects a large savings from having to have leachate handled by an outside source. He said since the county’s are liable for any accident or trouble at the landfill in Atlanta, the yearly allocation is distributed to them.

“The landfill is doing really good and we are going to save a lot from not having to have the leachate hauled and treated. The overall liability for the counties is huge though,” Habermehl said. “If something were to happen it would be the three counties that would take on the brunt of the costs, so this is not like we are getting money for nothing. It is a way to give back to the counties for sticking their neck out.”

Alpena County received $75,000 from the landfill in 2013 and it was used for one specific purpose. To help Alpena grow.

“We used all of it for economic development and for the drone project, Habermehl said. “I hope we will use it the same way, but we won’t really know until we begin the budget process. Maybe we will only be able to use half, or maybe all of it. I don’t know yet.”

In other business:

the landfill sent a proposed lease agreement with Recovered Energy Resources to its attorney for review. Habermehl said it is just a procedure and that there still needs to be land specific information put into it before it becomes official. He said RER still needs to have the property surveyed and no lease amount for the land has been reached as of yet.

“The agreement looks good, but until we designate the property on it, it is nothing more than a piece of paper.” Habermehl said.

He said RER has not indicated when it could have the land surveyed.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review … at