"Sounds Too Good to Be True": WFAA Sifts Through a Few Issues With Flow Control

Categories: City Hall
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Tennell Atkins tours a California "resource recovery" plant
The council may or may not vote on that ordinance involving the redirecting and recycling of solid waste today. It all depends where flow control falls on the action-packed agenda, which includes passing the budget (that should go smoothly) and debating Yucatan and Service Bar's denied-at-CPC specific use permits (which may not) and which will ultimately be cut short due to the start of Rosh Hashanah.

On the other side is Brett Shipp's flow control piece that aired last night, which was teased in yesterday's comments and which, for those who haven't read all the Unfair Park items and attendant comments from those pro and con, sums up some of the debate over sending all the city's solid waste to the McCommas Bluff Landfill. Shipp also takes a quick look at Organic Energy Corporation, which, it says on its website, is "seeking permission from the City of Dallas to build a multimillion dollar recycling facility at the McCommas Bluff Landfill," per its website, despite never having done any such thing.

Shipp doesn't mention that Tennell Atkins, who was once against flow control and is now pushing it (and that "stimulus fund"), was also among those who took a taxpayer-funded trip to the "resource recovery" plant in California. And he also doesn't get into the reason for the rush to approve flow control, which first came before the council last year as one of three revenue-generating brainstorms (which is all it's ever been about anyway). Sources say it's simple: No, the expected $14 million in revenue from tipping fees at the landfill won't go toward this year's budget, but it'll sure help out next fiscal year -- when the mayor, city manager and city council have to start paying back the cops and firefighters who, thanks to meet and confer, had some of their salaries deferred till next year. Says here we'll owe them around $38 million come next next September. Jump. If you still can.

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8 comments
Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

I keep watching this over and over and wondering what's in it for OEC?  Has the city already negotiated a contract (and lease) for this facility with EOC and what are the terms?  Barney acts as if this is nothing but a win win for Dallas, but we have all seen how the back story can turn out to be anything but.  Has OEC bothered to talk to their potential neighbors?  And Ms. Nix needs some serious media coaching before her next camera spotlight.

Shawn
Shawn

Indeed, it is too good to be true. I wonder who owns that Organic Energy Corporation, something fishy... It should be an open bid for all companies.  

Paul
Paul

Let's see $15M divided by $21/ton tipping fee equals 714,000 tons of garbage.

At 20 tons per truck, this is 35,714 trucks per year, or 137 additional trucks per day.

Does any one know what the design capacity of the McCommas Bluff Landfill is?

Does anyone know what the internal cost of the McCommas Bluff Landfill is per ton, that is what is the operating budget divided by the number of tons disposed.

Does any know what the current daily tip (that is tons) is at the landfill?

Can McCommas Bluff recieve an additional 2750 tons per day without expansion of any facitlities?

Enquiring minds want to know.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

If you watch closely, the rep from the front company, Organic Energy Corp., is interviewed from what appears to be an entirely empty office, devoid of any sign of use or occupancy--- nothing on the walls, nothing on the desk, a pencil holder holding a dozen identically sharpened pencils, etc.

As recently as last year, the guy being interviewed, Barney Gorey, appears to have been a mid-level executive with Entergy in Louisiana.  During the interview, he makes no effort to explain where he's going to come up with $100 million to build his plant, or how he will make it more efficient than any plant that's ever been built in U.S. history.

Checking into this thing further, it looks like a former city manager for the City of Dallas, Richard Knight, is somehow in the middle of this.  I'm guessing his company, Pegasus Texas, would get the juicy construction contract for the plant (he already has a piece of the action on both the convention center hotel as well as the Love Field terminal rebuild, and appears to also have a piece of the boutique hotel in the Cedars that is being financed by one of the city's pension funds).

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

OEC's CEO is a guy named George Gitschel, who is also owner of Rose Waste Systems.  That's all can find other than a settlement agreement between several parties, including Gitschel, over a merger gone bad.

Paul
Paul

He looks to me like a front man for an oil and gas boiler room operation.

Fletch
Fletch

You know...those pencils on his desk did appear to be staged.  All exactly the same length.  And who uses that many pencils anyway?

This deal is putting off an odor far worse than any mountain of rotting garbage.  It never ceases to amaze me how many how many terrible ideas the city "leadership" of Dallas entertains or ultimately embraces.  What a bunch of fools.

Ben
Ben

If they build it, the city needs to force them to build at Al Gore's Eco Park. Few people would ever build downwind of McCommas Bluff, if they want to build it needs to be there. In the 1990s Paul Quinn College was all for the Eco Park industrial park that was built next to McCommas Bluff. Designed to attract companies who wanted to leech the free trash off of the landfill to recycle into new products.

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