File photo / The Southeast Berrien County Landfill authority board has reached a tentative employment agreement with manager Clyde “Sonny” Fuller.

Archived Story

Landfill board reaches agreement

Published 9:54pm Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Southeast Berrien County Landfill authority board has reached a tentative employment agreement with landfill general manager Clyde “Sonny” Fuller.
The employment offer calls for a salary of $67,000 a year with the possibility of bonus compensation of up to 10 percent if he reaches established targets. The landfill will also pay for Fuller’s in-state college tuition.
The board voted 7-3 to accept the agreement with “no” votes from Niles Township Supervisor Jim Kidwell, Niles City Clerk Linda Casperson and Niles City Council member Bill Weimer.
Since Fuller took over as interim manager in April, the landfill has only had one month below profit line. He has turned the budget around through encouraging several haulers to bring higher volumes of garbage to the facility and reducing the landfill’s staff.
Kidwell was surprised to see the offer called for a base salary less than what Fuller was making as interim manager.
“I’m all for saving money but he’s done a great job out there. He’s come up with new ideas, more than any other general manager in the past,” Kidwell said.
Board chairman Dave Hagey said benefits and bonuses increase Fuller’s compensation by 26 percent.
“I think it’s an insult myself,” said Weimer.
Fuller said he has agreed to the employment offer but was hoping to earn a higher base salary.

Waiting on a business plan
The landfill board also discussed the progress of negotiations with EnerTech, a company interested in leasing 22 acres of landfill property in order to convert the landfill’s trash into synthetic diesel fuel.
Landfill board member Marty Couture said the board is waiting on a business plan from EnerTech before any further steps can be taken. Tim Powell, an official from EnerTech, said it will likely be another month until he will be able to submit a business plan.
“We’re being very thorough,” he said, adding the company has invested a significant amount of time and money into studying the site and preparing a business plan.
There is a November deadline in order for the company to qualify for state tax incentives.
In other landfill business, the board passed next fiscal year’s budget, projected to “be in the black by a small amount,” according to Hagey.
“Hopefully we can improve on that as we go through the year,” Hagey said.

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