Commissioners stymied in bid to reward hauler

February 03, 1994|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Sun Staff Writer

Carroll's commissioners wanted to reward the lone septic-waste hauler that uses the county's septic-waste facility Tuesday by giving it the contract to empty the grease trap at the jail -- worth up to $960 a year.

But there are a couple of problems.

Problem No. 1: To get rid of the grease, A. Roy Fringer and Son or any other septic-waste hauler might have to dump it illegally.

The county septic-waste facility doesn't take grease. Nor do the county sewage treatment plants in Hampstead and Eldersburg. Neither does the Westminster sewage treatment plant, where the septic-waste facility is.

Baltimore County officials say illegal dumping of Carroll septic waste in Baltimore County sewer mains is a long-standing practice that they have found difficult to police.

Haulers that obtain Baltimore County permits are allowed to dump the contents of septic tanks pumped in that county, but county officials say they know some Carroll and Harford County waste is illegally dumped in their mains.

Problem No. 2: Fringer, the hauler that uses Carroll's septic-waste treatment facility, quoted $80 per visit to pump out the grease trap at the Carroll County Detention Center in Westminster.

The current contract holder, Fogle's Refuse & Septic Service Inc., quoted $50 per visit, unchanged from the existing price.

So the commissioners left the decision up to county Comptroller Eugene C. Curfman, who said he plans to renew Fogle's contract when it expires at the end of this month because of the price difference.

Commissioner Donald I. Dell said yesterday he "didn't want to say we're favoring Mr. Fringer" but wanted the hauler to have a chance to participate in county contracts that are awarded informally. "However, if his price is considerably higher, we have to give it to the low bidder," Mr. Dell said.

Dale Fogle, co-owner of Fogle's, declined to say where he disposes of the grease he pumps from the detention center trap. "What does that matter?" he asked.

Mr. Curfman said he doesn't know where Fogle's takes the grease. Mr. Curfman said neither he nor Purchasing Bureau chief Thomas Crum has asked.

Carroll's septic-waste facility lacks the flotation mechanisms to treat grease, said Jeffery D. Glass, superintendent of the Westminster wastewater treatment plant.

Westminster operates the septic-waste facility under a reimbursement agreement with the county government.

Neither county staff members nor the commissioners have discussed checking the feasibility of having the grease recycled.

Mr. Fogle, who pumps it, said the detention center kitchen generates only a small quantity of grease, about 20 gallons per pumping.

County staff members differ on how often the grease is pumped. Mr. Crum said it is removed monthly; Thomas Bowers, chief of building services, said four times a year.

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