Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
Washington County Supervisors held off on a vote over the local government’s funds held in case of a closure at the recycling center.
The resolution is usually a routine procedure, but county officials said an unanticipated (if minor) change in expenses led to new red tape.
“This is the money set aside for cleanup expenses if that should occur,” County Auditor Dan Widmer said. “It’s complicating things, that extra $250 … we will need to do some sort of a budget amendment, because we only budgeted $5,000 for FY23.”
Washington County Engineer Jacob Thorius said the extra $250 came from a recommendation of the DNR, which also requested the formal budget amendment on the county’s records. The agency has jurisdiction on the matter because of its implications for on waste management.
“They recommended a certain percent increase, so that’s what I did,” Thorius said. “I can recalculate it. I’m the one that certified it. If the board doesn’t approve it today, I’ll go revisit it and say, ‘I was off.’”
Thorius said he would run the re-estimation by a third party to ensure its legitimacy.
“I need to go back and talk with (WEMIGA Waste Owner) Lynn (Whaley) and figure out how much he typically keeps on hand, and I’ll review it,” he said. “To prevent any concerns from the DNR that we’re, for lack of a better description, playing games, I’m going to get a second opinion from another county engineer on this. And we’ll compare the two estimates to come up with what we think is appropriate.”
While the issue seems like a lot of concern for a $250 discrepancy, Widmer said the DNR could close the center down if the issue wasn’t resolved by a deadline in mid-June.
“What we don’t want to happen is for them to say, ‘OK, we don’t have your completed renewal application, and so therefor we have to close the doors until you get that taken care of,’ and for $250,” Widmer said. “We didn’t know back when we did the budget in March that we needed to up the budget.”