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No word from Ruritans on proposed appraisal

Formalizing an agreement regarding revenue and expenses of the Washington College Convenience Center in Limestone may begin with an appraisal of the property.
According to Chair Bryan Davenport during the Feb. 9 meeting of the Public Works Committee, the appraisal was recommended by County Attorney Tom Seeley as a first step in determining a lease amount or purchase price for the convenience center property at 203 Bill West Road.
Discussion during the last six months among county commissioners have questioned the current arrangement that has the county responsible for the operational costs of the center while all of the money from the sale of the recyclables goes to the Washington College Ruritan Club.
Though the lease payment is only $1 per year, Solid Waste Director Charles Baines said the county covers the cost of labor, equipment and liability while the center brings in an average of $5,000 to $7,000 per month for the Ruritan Club.
The lease agreement expired in June, and county leaders are trying to determine the best direction to move forward. The center is located on property owned by the Ruritan Club, which means a move would require the purchase of land and construction of a new facility.
Mayor Dan Eldridge and Commissioner Todd Hensley met with club representatives Roby McBride and Don Graves on Feb. 3 to discuss the recommendation from Seeley. “We talked about the history of the convenience center, which was established by the Ruritans, and the first step we would like to initiate,” Eldridge said.
He followed up with a letter to club members later that week, indicating the county would cover the cost of the appraisal, estimated at approximately $1,500-$2,000, and requested a response.
Baines provided the 2014 recycling report to Public Works members with results from the other four convenience centers.
The centers at Gray, Cash Hollow, Lamar and Locust Mount recycled a total of 2,232 tons of paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, and used oil among other items that resulted in more than $200,000 in revenue.
According to Baines, recycling from the centers saved the county almost $61,000 it would have paid in tipping fees if the materials had been taken to the landfill.
Davenport told commissioners during the Feb. 23 meeting that no reply from the Ruritan Club has been received.