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Contract termination pending

Republic Services says its contract with the county to build a landfill in Cumberland has been “effectively terminated” and the matter is being “finalized.”

“As a committed community partner, we work to help counties find responsible, effortless solutions for their emerging waste needs,” a company spokesman said in an email to The Herald. “In this case, we were unable to find a mutual solution with Cumberland County and effectively terminated the contract in February 2015 in accordance with its terms,” the spokesman said. “As such, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality landfill permit has expired. We remain committed to the communities we serve, and we look forward to finalizing this matter soon so that we can all move forward.”

County supervisors have met in closed session numerous times to discuss the host community agreement, most recently in mid-March.

Republic Services Senior Manager of Public Affairs Brad Kiesling declined to offer further comment on the statement from the firm.

Vivian Seay Giles

Bill Hayden, a spokesman with Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, said the solid waste permit — issued August 17, 2009 — has not yet expired, but the air quality permit expired Feb. 14, 2010.

Cumberland County Administrator and County Attorney Vivian Seay Giles and Kiesling both confirmed the contract was effectively terminated when Republic paid a $2.5 million fee for early termination of the contract.

When asked for further clarification on what part of the contract needed to be finalized, Kiesling declined to elaborate, leaving it “up to the county” to comment. Giles also declined to comment.

Republic Services entered into the host community agreement with Cumberland County in 2006, allowing the firm to construct the landfill in the county. According to a frequently-asked-questions document on the county’s website, the property once sited for the landfill, located in eastern Cumberland, encompasses about 1,200 acres, with approximately 215 of those acres having been planned for a disposal site.

As part of the agreement, Republic agreed to make annual payments of $500,000 plus an additional $2.10 per ton of trash Republic placed in the landfill, to be paid quarterly. The contract also called for a $2.5 million-dollar fee as “a liquidated damages fee if the company desires to terminate the host community agreement.”