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Faith in new solid waste plan

The intent of this opinion piece is to express favor and support of the recently adopted Buckingham County Board of Supervisors’ Solid Waste Management Plan — one that will end up saving taxpayers millions of dollars while making our solid waste dump sites more convenient and accessible.

The beauty of the recently approved plan, which, according to County Administrator Rebecca S. Carter, will begin to be implemented within the next six months, is that the implementation of the plan, which calls for new cost-saving measures and tighter security, will not cost Buckingham County taxpayers one penny.

Rather than take money from the taxpayers, the plan will instead result in a net savings once it is fully implemented, and, at the same time, will result in trash sites being open to county residents 24 hours a day — not closed during the late mornings and early afternoons as many previously were, which county supervisors wisely jettisoned after warranted public outcry.

The gist of the $335K-plan is that all — including the unmanned and highly abused sites — will close or be replaced with sites or retrofitted with new equipment, resulting in fenced sites that have an access gate/arm that is opened by a device that scans our new county vehicle decals we are set to receive. It’s similar to an E-Z Pass that many commuters have on their windshield to avoid paying money at toll booths on highways, allowing one vehicle at a time to enter the site.

This system will allow access by county residents into the sites at any time, day or night, and the added security cameras will result in more fines and deterrents against those who live outside our county or contractors ready to abuse the sites.

I drive by the existing Bates Market Solid Waste Site sometimes numerous times a day traveling between Farmville and Buckingham. Many times I can count on two hands the number of vehicles at the site that do not have county decals, unloading construction debris or furniture into the dumpsters.

This illegal activity and abuse, which costs taxpayers thousands of dollars annually by having to pay a county employee to remove the debris or furniture and transport it to another site or the landfill in Prince Edward, will be drastically if not almost completely reduced.

Because of this forward-thinking plan, which is being paid for 100 percent through one-time building permit fees associated with the two solar facilities being constructed in the county and additional funds from the State Corporation Commission (i.e. NO local taxpayer dollars), our taxes are not increasing as a result of this plan, our county decals are going to remain at $25, and the county will save, if not millions over time, hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It’s my hope that, as the plan results in net savings, in years to come supervisors will consider adding one or two additional sites in the more rural parts of the county, such as in the western or northwestern areas.

I, for one, look forward to visiting the seven solid waste sites (at Arvonia, Dillwyn, Gravel Hill, Route 655 north of Glenmore, Route 56 Bates Market and Route 600) that will soon be secure from outside-the-county abuse and open 24/7 with greater security, while knowing my taxes didn’t increase nor were any new fees created as the county saves taxpayers’ dollars.

JORDAN MILES is a native of Buckingham County. His email address is thomas.jordan.miles@gmail.com.