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Board selects firm for waste collection site

WARREN — The Geauga-Trumbull Solid Waste Management District selected a company to build a household hazardous-waste collection facility in Geauga County at a cost exceeding $1 million.

Residents in Geauga County do not have a permanent collection site there.

The board governing the district, made up of the three commissioners from both counties, selected Cavanaugh Building Corp. of Akron for the project. Trumbull County commissioners Frank Fuda and Mauro Cantalamessa voted against the measure, and the measure to fund the building’s operations.

The vote occurred Dec. 23, before Dan Polivka’s term as a county commissioner and a waste district board member ended this year. Polivka voted with the Geauga County commissioners in favor of selecting the bid for the building and funding the operations.

The district is funded with money collected from landfill tipping fees.

With alternatives in the bid package included, the building is expected to cost about $1.3 million.

Six other bids were rejected.

The board members implemented a maximum funding amount for the building each year for 10 years, setting it at $535,000 in the first year, with increases as the period continues. To change the funding caps, two-thirds of the board, four members, would have to vote in favor, the resolution states.

Director Jennifer Jones said she does not believe it will cost that much to run the facility. An existing employee is expected to travel between the two sites, operated on different days of the week, and a part-time employee may be hired, she said.

It is expected to take six months to build after construction begins, Jones said. The facility will be built on land, donated by Geauga County, at 12685 Merritt Road in Chardon.

The cost of the building, first thought to be less expensive, caused a rift between the commissioners during the process. Bids and drawings for the building were repeated a couple of times before the selection Dec. 23.

“I was initially in favor of a secondary facility because the district does serve both counties,” Cantalamessa said. “Unfortunately the price and scope continued to rise far above what I thought we should be spending. Just because the revenue generated for the district is a generational fee and not a tax per-se doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be prudent about spending it.

“Although the bids did come in lower than expected, let’s not forget that we are in the throes of a global pandemic, and everyone is tightening their belts a little more than ever. Why should we be any different? That’s money we could use to expand some of our current programs and grants for our community.”

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