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Friday October 24th 2014

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Ingram negotiates agreement between Escambia County and ECUA on recycling

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Today, Representative Clay Ingram released the following statement regarding a potential recycling agreement between Escambia County and the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA).

“I am pleased to announce that after a series of meetings with administrators from Escambia County and ECUA, the parties have agreed to terms of a potential recycling partnership,” said Rep. Ingram. “Like many of my constituents, I am both an Escambia County taxpayer as well as an ECUA rate-payer and see this proposed partnership as a true win-win scenario. If adopted, the partnership will protect the financial well-being of the Escambia County Solid Waste Enterprise Fund, help control ECUA’s costs, and will result in the creation of 120-220 new jobs. This partnership would also have the positive effect of bringing to a halt the involvement of the courts in matters between Escambia County and ECUA. My hope is that the respective boards will adopt this proposed agreement as soon as possible.”

Yesterday, I visited with Rep. Ingram and discussed his efforts to work out a “win-win” solution that could help the area develop cutting technology that would make it possible to recycle as much as 90 percent of the county’s trash and create 120-220 new jobs. He said that a key player was John Asmar, who was hired by Interim County Administrator Larry Newsom earlier in the year to help negotiate alternatives to a lengthy court battle.

Ingram said the he, Asmar and Steve Sorrell, ECUA executive director, met several times to hammer out the details, and when Jack Brown came on board in June as the county administrator, he added invaluable expertise to the discussion. Both Brown and Sorrell have signed a memorandum of understanding and will be presenting it to their boards for approval.

Ingram believes that the timing is critical. He said, “Speedy adoption of the proposal is imperative as interests from outside of the region have shown intent to build a recycling facility here without participation from either party, which would have a devastating financial impact on our community. I am excited about the spirit of cooperation exemplified by both parties for the good of our community and look forward to working together to seeing the project completed.”

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