Landfill board seeks consultantPublished 9:02pm Tuesday, October 25, 2011
The company that was negotiating with the Southeast Berrien County Landfill about turning the landfill’s waste into diesel fuel has yet to submit a business plan, so landfill authority board officials are ready to seek help elsewhere.
In May the board sent a letter of intent to EnerTech, a renewable energy company out of Fishers, Ind., indicating the board would be on board with the project if the company could come up with the financing and permitting for the project.
EnerTech officials said a waste-to-fuel project would create dozens of jobs and preserve the life of the landfill but have failed to submit a business plan. Tim Powell, an official with EnerTech, told the board in August that he would submit a plan within a month.
Losing patience, the board voted last week to request proposals to hire a consultant to guide the landfill board in the pursuit of a waste-to-energy company that’s a good fit.
The board voted 6-3 to hire a consultant. Jim Kidwell, Niles Township Supervisor, was one of the board members to vote no.
Contacted Tuesday, Kidwell said money would be better spent on sending landfill officials to tour an existing facility in Texas.
“My philosophy is instead of paying a lot of money upfront, we could send the general manager and a trustee down there to see how the plant is running and if it is something that would work for Berrien County,” Kidwell said.
Kidwell’s proposal to send two representatives to a Texas facility was rejected by a vote of 5-4.
The landfill, located on Mayflower Road in Bertrand Township, is owned by Niles, Buchanan and Bertrand townships and the cities of Niles and Buchanan.