Sale of county landfill could bring millions to municipalitiesPublished 8:37am Friday, April 9, 2010
By AARON MUELLER
Niles Daily Star
A big load of trash might bring a large sum of money to Niles Township and the City of Niles.
In an update letter from Niles Township Supervisor Jim Kidwell to the residents of the township, he said one of the ways he is looking to save money is to encourage other municipal leaders to sell the Southeast Berrien County landfill.
Niles Township, the City of Niles, Buchanan Township, the City of Buchanan and Bertrand Township are all currently liable for the landfill, which is located in Bertrand Township.
All of the municipalities are on board in trying to sell the landfill, except Bertrand, which is the only municipality that gets any revenue from it.
Kidwell said the estimated value of the landfill is between $30 and 40 million, and because the township has the largest population and is most liable for the landfill, it would receive about $10 million from the sale.
In December the landfill authority board with representatives from all five municipalities approved a proposal by Kidwell to look into selling the landfill.
The municipalities agreed to get quotes for an appraisal of the landfill to find out exactly how much it is worth. Quotes for the appraisal are between $4,000 and $7,000.
“That’s the first step,” Kidwell said.
As it stands, the landfill is not bringing in any revenue for Niles Township or the city and the liability is still hanging over their heads, according to Kidwell.
“It’s getting to be too much of a liability for us to handle. If something goes wrong, such as a spill, the municipalities are responsible for that,” Kidwell said. “I’m worried about future generations having to take care of it.”
Kidwell is confident that the landfill can be sold if put on the market.
“I’ve had at least a couple calls on it,” he said. “We have had a couple well-known trash haulers that have called as well as a private individual.”