There is no doubt our Board of Commissioners is extremely desperate to make the Ball Ground Recycling disaster go away. Their desperation has led to more mistakes while trying to sell it to almost anyone who will give them a letter of intent. This desperation has gotten us into a lawsuit which will mean even more lost money for taxpayers.
There is another alternative that I don’t believe they have seriously looked at. Run it ourselves.
Let me introduce you to something called Milorganite. Many gardeners will recognize the name which comes from the words “Milwaukee Organic Nitrogen.” Milwaukee had a serious sewage problem in the 1920s and needed to clean up its rivers and Lake Michigan.
Rather than creating land filling sludge, they used it to make, distribute and sell fertilizer. This is one of the largest recycling programs in the U.S. and maybe the world. It also may have properties that repel deer and other pests from your yard. Needless to say it’s successful, since they produce and sell 45,000 tons of it a year.
I’m not saying we could be as successful as Milwaukee with Milorganite, but if we could get the facility to produce enough to make the bond payments, we would be far ahead of any offer we have received on the place.
Maybe we could even get the facility to make a few bucks in the future. So far all offers we seem to get are for less than 30 cents on the dollar. Obviously, the sharks smell blood in the water.
Rather than just giving the place away for pennies on the dollar, leaving taxpayers holding the bag for the rest, I think the “Run it Ourselves” idea should at least be studied. Also an operational plant is worth considerably more than one setting idle.
It might be nice to see bags of Cherokee County Mulch for sale at a big box store near you, knowing the proceeds are saving taxpayers some money.