09/30/13 — Commissioners to meet Tuesday

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Commissioners to meet Tuesday

By Steve Herring
Published in News on September 30, 2013 1:46 PM

Wayne County commissioners will hold a public hearing Tuesday morning on a request by Methane Power Wayne for an extension of its lease with the county allowing the company to extract methane from the county landfill.

The lease also includes approximately one-half acre of land where the company's equipment is located at the Dudley landfill.

Methane Power Wayne is asking that five years be added to its original 20-year lease. County Manager Lee Smith has said the company asked for the extension because it is refinancing some projects in North America.

Dedicated in November of 2011, the company's power plant converts the methane created by decomposition in the landfill into electricity.

Prior to that time, the methane was burned off with a flare.

The public hearing will be held Tuesday at 9:15 a.m. in the commissioners' meeting room on the fourth floor of the county courthouse annex.

An agenda briefing will be held at 8 a.m. followed by the commissioners' board meeting at 9 a.m.

Methane Power Wayne pays the county $1,200 annually for the lease, and the county is averaging $50,000 annually from the revenues generated by the company.

Before the plant opened, the county had been facing a state mandate for new wells and piping in the landfill that had been expected to cost $200,000.

"The county also saved on equipment and installation cost associated with the installation of the new gas wells in phase two, which were around $900,000," Tim Rogers, the county's solid waste director, said. "We will also save on the cost of equipment and installing gas wells in phase three."

Construction began in September 2010 on the $10 million facility. It went online last December.

Based in Cary, Methane Power Wayne designed, installed and now operates and maintains the project that can generate up to three megawatts of electricity.

In other business Tuesday, the board will consider acting on GATEWAY's application for $229,928 in state Rural Operating Assistance Program.

No one spoke on the application during a public hearing before commissioners last month.

The total includes:

* Elderly and Disabled Transportation Assistance Program, $91,986

* Employment Transportation Assistance Program, $27,070

* Rural General Public Program, $110,872.

Commissioners will also consider approving high bids on three tax-foreclosed properties. The location, values and bids are:

* 129 Best Avenue, tax value of $47,490, high bid of $13,000 by Enato Wu of Goldsboro

* 3215 E. N.C. 55, tax value of $64,130, high bid of $40,000 by Shelton Southerland of Seven Springs

* 891 Herring Road, Dudley, tax value of $18,780, high bid of $7,051 by Terry Best of Goldsboro.

In another property-related issue, commissioners will be asked to approve $200,000 to purchase five lots surrounding the County Office Building. The lots are located on Herman, Simmons and Pou streets.

Also, commissioners will be asked for approval of a lease with Eastpointe for the top three floors of the Borden building.

Commissioners will be presented a request for qualifications for a needs assessment and feasibility study for the Sheriff's Office and jail.

The study will look at converting the closed Wayne Correctional Center to house the Sheriff's Office and county jail. The county also wants to determine the county's jail needs over the next 25 years.

A second proposed county project is on the agenda as well.

Wayne County Extension Service Director Kevin Johnson and Steve Allen of Solutions for Local Government will give a presentation on a proposed Wayne Regional Agricultural Center.

The proposal has identified two possible sites, the McFarland building on West Ash Street near Cherry Hospital and the old dairy on Old Smithfield Road.