Augusta doesn’t move forward on landfill green energy project

Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic
Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic

AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF) The idea would be to turn the city’s trash into treasure, garbage into gold.

“We’re looking at a way to take cellulose and plastic reverse engineer it to get it back to fuels some water and bio-char,” said Landfill Director Mark Johnson.

And as simple as that sounds developers say what’s needed is state funding, so commissioners debating apply for a state environmental loan up to 62 million dollars to build the plant.

Developers say the city would bring in more than four million dollars a year on the sale of the products manufactured at the plant.

“We absolutely need to do the application I mean it’s non-binding we’ve got two months to basically go over the numbers see if this is something we want to do to move forward revenue generator four point three million dollars a year,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom.

But while other commissioners were not raising questions about the project they did about the process and the shortage of information before the vote on the application.

“It hadn’t been through procurement it did not do all the things that need to be done it did not come through the full commission to vet it do we really want to do that,” said Commissioner Ben Hasan.

“I’m concerned about who would pay for it I could see the city paying some I could see the enterprise paying some but not necessarily the whole burden upon the city,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.

“No one said anything to me about that so I don’t have the slightest  idea there’s no way I can support an agenda item that doesn’t have any back up materials,” said Commissioner Bill Lockett.

“It’s just the application process we’re not saying were going to say we’re definitely going to do it just an application,” said Frantom.

Landfill Director Mark Johnson said the city has been working since August of last year to minimize the city risk, the developer promising the city would enter into 20 year deals to sell the  three products, and  there would be insurance on the loan but in the  end the commission did not bite voting four to three against the deal,

The mayor saying today was the deadline for the city to make the loan application for the project.

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