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Posted: January 24, 2017 7:11 a.m.

BOC, SWA hold joint work session

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Members of the public fill the Newton County Historic Courthouse Monday night for the joint work session with the Newton County BOC and SWA.

A large group of concerned citizens turned out at the Historic Newton County Courthouse Monday night for the first-ever joint work session between the county’s board of commissioners (BOC) and solid waste authority (SWA).

The joint session was requested by the BOC to discuss the costs, conditions and implementation of the proposed contract for solid waste collection in the county.

Early in the session, a motion was made by Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston to allow for public comments to be heard during the work session. The motion was seconded and approved. Public comments were heard at the end of the discussion of the contract by the BOC and SWA

The meeting, which started in a “roundtable” format with members of both bodies gathered around tables on the floor of the commission chamber, soon took on the appearance of a regular commission meeting. Members, concerned that those in the audience might be unable to hear them, decided to take their regular seats behind the BOC desk with SWA members interspersed between them.

One of the stated reasons for the meeting was to give both groups a chance to revisit and possibly modify the intergovernmental agreement (IGA) which gives the SWA sole discretion in dealing with solid waste disposal in the county. BOC and SWA members, along with the public, also expressed concerns about the county’s pending contract with Advanced Disposal Systems (ADS) for solid waste pick-up in the county. The continued viability of the landfill was also discussed.

Though no decisions were made concerning the IGA or the contract at the joint session, members of both groups pledged at the end of the meeting to work together to find the best solution for the solid waste disposal problems facing the county.

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