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County tired of amnesty overuse

6/19/2013

By RANDY GONZALES

By RANDY GONZALES

rgonzales@dailynews.net

The tire amnesty program at the county landfill was designed for the guy who wanted to get rid of a couple tires in his garage, without having to pay the fee for disposal.

It wasn't designed for one individual to turn in 735 tires. Or two other individuals to turn in more than 500 tires combined.

The expense for the county was more than $28,000 for the more than 300 tons of tires turned in during a three-week period that ended last month.

"I just feel like we were used," Ellis County Commissioner Barbara Wasinger said at Monday's regular meeting at the Ellis County Courthouse.

"There's no way one person can have 735 tires sitting out there on their farm," Commissioner Swede Holmgren said.

Ellis County Public Works Director Mike Graf said Tuesday he wasn't shocked by what transpired.

"I've been through too many tire amnesty events, or other cleanup opportunities, to be surprised by that kind of thing," Graf said.

Commissioners agreed if another tire amnesty program is conducted in the future, there should be a strict limit on the number of tires one individual can turn in for disposal.

Graf said the state has had tire amnesty programs in the past -- and the results were similar.

"To change the mindset, we probably need to have a serious discussion about whether tire amnesty should continue or not," Graf said.

The county paid for the disposal of the tires through the solid waste fund.

"Depending on how you look at it, the program was either a success, or a lot of money," Ellis County Administrator Greg Sund said.