The problems for Region T, the solid waste district that serves the lake area, continue to multiply.

Barring any last minute concessions by the state, it looks like the district is going to owe the state nearly $36,000. 


The problems for Region T, the solid waste district that serves the lake area, continue to multiply.
Barring any last minute concessions by the state, it looks like the district is going to owe the state nearly $36,000. 
According to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the department’s Solid Waste Management Program is requiring Region T to repay nearly $36,000 in grant funds awarded to the district’s administrative contractor, Lake of the Ozarks Council of Local Governments. 
The funds were awarded more than two years ago for educational, scrap tire and illegal dumping projects that were never implemented.  As required by the district grant regulations, these funds will be reallocated to the other solid waste management districts in Missouri that are in compliance and have addressed any audit deficiencies, according to Jim Hull of the solid waste management program.
The Solid Waste Management Program is currently monitoring Region T’s progress on two other tire collection projects. These projects must be implemented within a reasonable time period, Hull said.
If that doesn’t happen, as an alternative, Region T can elect to terminate the tire collection projects and make the funds available to other grant applicants within Region T’s three-county area.
According to information provided by the solid waste district, it has run into problems getting the waste tire projects underway.
“My staff met with Region T’s executive board on June 5 to deliver the audit report. The department gave the executive board 60 days to adequately address these issues and their efforts have proven inadequate. This minimal effort on the district’s part is not acceptable,” Department of Natural Resources Director Doyle Childers said. “We want to send a clear message to Region T’s executive board. It must address the district’s critical operational shortcomings without delay.”
The Solid Waste Management Program has notified the district it is being placed on “high risk” status effective Sept. 1. Compliance deadlines have been provided, and if they are not met, the district’s administrative funds may be withheld.
Hull said DNR staff anticipates meeting with representatives of the solid waste district but no timeline has been set. The district is under a timeline for correcting the problems in the performance audit. Although the district was notified of DNR’s action in a letter dated Aug.13, the solid waste management program has not received a response.
Bob O’Keefe, chairman of the solid waste district, and Miller County Presiding Commission Tom Wright who heads up LOCOLG, said they are anxious to meet with DNR and resolve the issues.
Region T is made up of Camden, Laclede and Miller counties. For the year ended June 30, 2007, the district received $95,000 in district grant funds and in 2008 has received $72,683.  The districts use the solid waste management funds for recycling, reuse and resource recovery project grants to divert solid waste from landfills.
Contact this reporter at joycem@lakesunleader.com