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Transfer station on potential budget chopping block

After lengthy discussions on the 2021 budget proposals, the Lincoln County Transfer Station located to the east of the I-29 Worthing exit could be one of the areas cut from the budget.

Transfer station manager Jon Hanson, who has worked there for the past 16 years, said the transfer station was built in 1980 as a replacement for the landfill that was near the current transfer station location. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) came in at the time and said the landfill could not operate anymore. At the time, much of the landfill garbage was being burned.

Hanson said county residents went to the commission 40 years ago, saying they needed a place to get rid of their garbage. The transfer station was built to transfer Lincoln County household garbage from Lincoln County to the Sioux Falls landfill.

“They decided to open the transfer station and have the surrounding municipalities chip in and support it by population because the county said we can’t afford this,” he said.

The agreements with municipalities was done on a handshake and there was no written contract between the county and the towns in the county. About seven years ago, Beresford came to the commission and noted that a lot of their residents live in Union County and did not feel it was fair for them to be paying into this. Then Harrisburg got out, citing they were growing too fast and could not afford it. Then Tea and Lennox said if others weren’t paying, neither were they.

The 2020 budget for the transfer station was $460,075 from the county, that included salaries for two full-time employees and two part-time employees. Hanson noted that the pit is 40 years old and needs work.

He understands that the county needs money for other things like law enforcement, roads and judicial needs. However, his biggest concern is garbage ending up in the wrong places throughout the county if they close the transfer station.

“My biggest concern would be our farmyards, our acreages, our ditches looking even worse,” Hanson said. “I don’t want to see our ditches fill up anymore than they are.”

The Lincoln County Commission has a public hearing scheduled for Sept. 1 at 10 a.m. at the courthouse in Canton to discuss the 2021 provisional budget.

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