Monday, August 25, 2008
Bryan, College Station resolve landfill dispute
Bryan and College Station successfully completed court-ordered mediation on issues pertaining to BVSWMA (Brazos Valley Solid Waste Management Agency).
College Station Mayor Ben White is thrilled with the agreement. “My fellow council members and I are happy to meet in the middle with Bryan. I want to thank my council for their strength and leadership on this issue.”
College Station Mayor Pro-Tem Lynn McIlhaney echoed the Mayor’s excitement. “This is a result of great teamwork, as it allows both of us to move forward with service to citizens,” said McIlhaney.
Bryan Mayor Mark Conlee said the cities worked hard to reach an agreement, spending more than 10 hours in negotiations last week. “This is really a victory for the entire community,” he said. “We’ve both compromised and reached an agreement that better serves the citizens of Bryan and the citizens of College Station.”
Mayor Pro Tem Jason Bienski said he was proud of the way representatives from each city approached the mediation process. “Our staff was diligent in making sure we came up with something that we can be proud to take back to the residents,” he said.
Bryan City Manager David Watkins said he believes the resulting agreement shows how well the cities can work together. “It’s important to us to make sure the citizens of Bryan are served by a good contract, and that we are kept apprised of what’s going on with BVSWMA and the landfill plans,” Watkins said. “We’ve said all along that we need to be kept in the loop, and this agreement meets that need.”
College Station City Manager Glenn Brown stated, “It has been a challenging yet rewarding process. This is a good example of both cities looking out for the best interests of its respective citizenry – but maintaining the integrity of its operational philosophies.”
Both cities worked diligently late last week in negotiations and today jointly ratified a seven-page mediated settlement agreement. Bryan will request the presiding judge to pass the temporary injunction hearing scheduled for Aug. 27. Bryan and College Station will continue to negotiate to resolve other issues by Nov. 1.
The highlights of the agreement include:
• Clarification on operational relations between the cities, as well as rights and obligations for contemplated future construction of Twin Oaks Landfill. Both cities will be parties to the Twin Oaks contract, and the award of the bid will be approved by the city councils of both cities.
• Through the administration of the contract for the Twin Oaks Landfill by College Station, the Bryan City Council will have 15 days to reject or approve a matter requiring its approval. Any change order on the construction of the new landfill requiring an expenditure of $25,000 or more must be approved by both cities, and all expenditures on behalf of BVSWMA in excess of $50,000 will be approved by both city councils.
• The City of Bryan shall be notified by BVSWMA staff prior to application of any intended modifications to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) landfill permit. Any amendments to the permit will require the approval of both City Councils prior to application to the TCEQ.
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