Communication change to save county money

JOHNSTOWN – The Fulton County Department of Solid Waste has changed its leachate-sewer line communications system to save money.

The county had been leasing tower space on Route 67 from SBA Properties of Boca Raton, Fla., for the line’s communication services. But a new phone line installation and integration with the monitoring system is expected to save money, an official said.

“We’re going to be saving in excess of $4,000 per year,” county Solid Waste Director Jeff Bouchard informed the Board of Supervisors’ Economic Development and Environment Committee last week.

Bouchard said he got into the new arrangement because of higher costs. He said SBA’s five-year contract started in 2008 at a cost of $4,200 per year, with a 4 percent yearly increase. He said the Department of Solid Waste looked into alternate modes of communication, and changed over to phone lines late last year in anticipation of termination of the tower contract.

The new system will be reliable, experience less interference and provide a consistent means of communications with the allowance of leachate pumping action in an automatic mode, he said.

In other county landfill business:

Bouchard presented a three-year tonnage comparison by category. The total material landfilled was: 2010 – 85,366 tons; 2011 – 105,160 tons; and 2012 – 96,908 tons. He said out-of-county waste experienced a “substantial decrease” – from 15,957 tons in 2011 compared to 5,545 tons for 2012, due to “competitive markets.” He said municipal direct haul waste totaling 10,999 tons was down slightly from 2011, which may be attributed to additional recycling items.

Bouchard reported the Stratford Transfer Station entrance door was replaced, and new metal railings were placed at the landfill transfer station.

He also reported Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Board of Cooperative Educational Services classes will construct buildings in the next few months. The buildings will eventually go to the Oppenheim and Ephratah transfer stations for the county’s electronics recycling program.