County to pursue grant for tire disposal

By Deb Hadachek Telescope editor

5,000 tires is one big pile of tires.

But Luke Mahin, Republic County Economic Development director, told Republic County Commissioners Monday that’s how many tires might be available for disposal in the county.

Commissioners directed Mahin to move forward with a community clean-up grant to the Dane Hansen Foundation to help rid the county of old tires.

The county must pay Champlin’s Tire of Concordia to dispose of any old tires, so they haven’t been included in community clean up items the past several years. Some cities declined to participate in the countywide cleanup for fear they’d be left with a pile of tires they’d have to pay to get rid of.

Mahin said Champlin’s gave the 5,000 tire estimate based on the county’s population.

But commissioner said if the tire pile grows higher than that, they may be prepared to pay any additional costs above the grant.

“We’re just guessing at the number of tires,” said Commissioner Melvin Jeardoe. “If we’re going to commit to a tire cleanup, we need to do it all.”

“It’s a good problem to have even if we have to come up with a little extra,” agreed Commissioner Ed Splichal. “It gets rid of a lot of stuff.”

The Dane Hansen Foundation made $20,000 available to each county in its service area for community cleanup projects. Narka, Cuba and Courtland plan to make application for a portion of the funds, Mahin said.

Mahin said any remaining monies will be dedicated to the tire cleanup project. If the tire cleanup doesn’t use up all of the grant money, a second tire collection may be held, or the county could pursue a hazardous materials project.

Applications for the funds must be made by June 1. The board set no date for the tire collection but asked Mahin to contact all cities in the county for possible collection sites, to encourage the widest amount of participation possible.