By Liz Shepherd
WARSAW — The Kosciusko County Solid Waste Management District discussed concerns with the recycling depot’s cash flow during a June 21 meeting.
“We are spending above what our revenue is coming in,” said Recycling Depot Director Tom Ganser. This is due to the depot’s revenues being lower than anticipated for 2022.
Ganser and County Auditor Michelle Puckett said the depot’s ending cash balance is currently at $103,144.54, as of May 30. This number does not include the depot’s $1.4 million investment at 1st Source Bank.
“Now’s the time to have the discussion … do you have a plan for your investment … to leave it there and not being touched, do you want to look at tax dollars and increasing your tax rate, or reduce the investment to put that money in your cash reserves, or a combination of those,” said Puckett.
Board Member Mike Long suggested pulling $400,000 from the investment to recoup.
“Our two biggest [budgetary items] are in flux right now,” said Board Member Cary Groninger. “We’ve got our contract with the landfill that we’re going to be negotiating on our host fees and we also have our pick-up recycling fees. Our biggest revenue and our biggest cost both are up this next year. The two biggest things that affect our budget, we don’t know what they’re going to be.”
The board approved transferring $400,000 from the depot’s investment to their cash balance.
Ganser said currently, the 2023 budget is projected to total $927,169, up from 2022’s amount of $788,734.
“I hope I don’t have to come close to that, but I think we need to have those large (budget) categories…recycle services, the drop-off contract, and the HHW (household hazardous waste) backed up just in case,” said Ganser.
“This is the most uncertain budget year in our lifetime,” said Board President Brad Jackson.
In other business, Steve Smith, Whitley Environmental president; and Joe Munem, director of government affairs with GFL Environmental USA, attended the meeting. Smith informed the board that Whitley Environmental has been purchased by GFL, effective June 1.
GFL will soon take over as Fort Wayne’s trash and recycling collector. Kosciusko County Recycling Depot currently has a recycling contract with Whitley Environmental.
“We are here today to request consent for assignment of the contract,” said Munem. “Really all that’s changing is the name of the company.”
Ganser suggested the board take the matter under advisement so he and City Attorney Scott Reust can look at the contract further. The board approved Ganser’s suggestion.
The board’s next meeting is at 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 19.