Landfill contract talks get trashy
Butte County administration avoided losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in entrance fees to the Neal Road Landfill this week by promising to continue hashing out long-term contract negotiations with Waste Management.

The company, which has a long term contract with the county to operate the landfill, sent a letter to the county last month, outlining a major budgetary shortfall (about $770,000) and blamed the deficit, at least partially, on a deal that gives entrance fees to the dump straight to the county, said interim Chief Administrative Officer Lawrence Odle. It threatened to withhold giving the fees to the county—about $750,000 a year—until a better deal could be worked out. While the company did indeed hold back handing over the fees for “a while” last month, Odle said, the county managed to talk Waste Management out of continuing to do so.

Waste Management’s contract to run the landfill expires in 2008 and renewal contract talks continue.

If CSSA is going to play politics, A.S. may opt out of the game
Concerned that a statewide students’ organization has gotten too political and ineffective, Chico State University’s Associated Students is considering dropping out of the group altogether.

The California State Students Association (CSSA) is supposed to serve a network for students at the CSU’s 23 campuses, representing their views to the Legislature, CSU brass and other power players. In exchange for this lobbying, member campuses are supposed to pay per-student dues, although not all of them do.

Now, A.S. President Amber Johnsen said at Feb. 12’s Governmental Affairs Committee meeting, it’s time to “re-evaluate” whether Chico State should even participate in CSSA. “I think we can use Chico State student money for better things on our campus,” she said.

Johnsen and Katie Beebe, the A.S. director of legislative affairs, said they’re not looking forward to this weekend’s CSSA meeting in Hayward, where the group will discuss whether to recall its chairman, Robert Garcia.

Jimmy Reed, the A.S. executive vice president, said Garcia is doing a good job and has been made a target by a few, non-dues-paying campuses. “A lot of people have huge egos over there, and they all want to make their marks.”

Kohrdt considers buying a lake
Developer Dan Kohrdt—he’s the colorful builder who constructed, and then tore down, a nearly completed sheriff’s substation in Oroville over frustration with county red tape several years ago—reportedly has a new purchase in his crosshairs: an entire lake.

Mike Glaze, director of the Oroville Wyandotte Irrigation District, confirmed this week that Kohrdt has expressed interest in buying Lake Wyandotte from the district. The lake, built by OWID in 1921, hasn’t been used for the rural irrigation and runoff basin it was designed for in several years, Glaze said.

The lake’s sale price has been set at $750,000, Glaze said.

Lake Wyandotte is located off Forbestown Road southeast of Lake Oroville. It holds about 300 acre-feet of water. That’s enough to supply 300 typical families with enough water for a year, or enough to fill 300 football fields with water a foot deep.

Compared to sprawling Lake Oroville, Glaze said, Lake Wyandotte is “tiny.” But it’s big enough for Kohrdt’s reported purpose—to provide water for the development that Kohrdt has long wanted to build in the Springtown Mountain area above Oroville, where he already owns land.

Kohrdt couldn’t be reached for comment about the lake purchase.