Extortion in Arkansas, Part 2
EXTORTION MONEY is being demanded from local taxpayers via the Trash Tax in six of our Northern Arkansas counties due to the bankruptcy and closure of the NABORS Landfill in Baxter County — and it’s listed as CLASS 1 (and Class 4), which means that it accepted hazardous waste! It looks like the devious Trash Tax involves MILLIONS ($15 to $20M) of dollars and now seems to be open for any future claims, too! Remember, the tax will be added to each resident and business PARCEL in the affected area. How many parcels do YOU own? Many people own several, and we’ve heard from cash-strapped residents that they could barely afford to pay it! This appears to be a government scam at the highest level.
Thanks to this bankrupt NABORS Landfill, basically YOU residents are on the hook to pay a fee for a debt which you didn’t incur, over which you had NO say… for a landfill that is no longer usable and is now CLOSED! This is just like the bank bailout the U.S. government was involved in a decade ago — only it looks like THIS is industry bailout.
Secure Arkansas is looking into a number of things that do not add up at this time, especially since the court recently ruled that the local government pass this Trash Tax onto the public! If you’re not familiar with this issue, be sure to read Part 1 first.
Here’s the court order signed by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox on April 21, 2017 to have this unscrupulous trash tax added to the personal property tax statements in the 6-county area starting January 1, 2018. The court order includes a three-page amendment at the end of the document, pages 8-10 which states:
Pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. § 8-6-714(d) and other applicable law, the Receiver, acting on behalf of the District, shall cause an annual service fee of $18.00 (the “Service Fee”) to be assessed against each residence and business parcel located within the District.
The Service Fee shall commence in 2018 and continue until such time as the claims of the Trustee and ADEQ have been paid in full, all as more particularly described in the Report and Recommendations.
Secure Arkansas Note:
What the court order stated is not what Code Ann. § 8-6-714(d) says.
This is the Official Arkansas Code Ann. § 8-6-714(d):
(d) The board may levy a service fee on each residence or business for which the board makes solid waste collection or disposal services available.
(Secure Arkansas Note: For the Board to be able to assess the $18 fee, they MUST make solid waste collection or disposal services available. The COURT did NOT provide any services for this $18 fee, thus the charge should be Null and Void and removed from taxpayers’ tax statements immediately!)
The COURT ERRED!
Pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. § 8-6-714(d) and other applicable law, the Receiver, acting on behalf of the District, shall cause an annual service fee of $18.00 (the “Service Fee”) to be assessed against each residence and business parcel located within the District. Remember that at the hearing, nobody really had an objection: “none of the parties filed an objection or response or voiced an objection to the Report and Recommendations at the hearing”. (Why WOULD they object? We’re guessing that the Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District, ADEQ, Geoffrey B. Treece (the receiver), and Lance R. Miller (appearing by and through Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates, & Woodyard P.L.L.C. for Bank of the Ozarks, the trustee of the bondholders) all thought they could get the judge to do their dirty work and force the taxpayer to pay for it!) BUT if they had read the Arkansas Code FULLY, the court order would NEVER have taken place! It was the responsibility of the judge and the attorneys to fully comprehend the code, and they should’ve caught it. Therefore, this appears to be collusion between ALL parties, and it looks like the taxpayer is the scapegoat being used to fund this money laundering scheme!
From Item 3, page 2 of the Court Order document:
“The receiver is hereby further granted the authority to immediately take any and all such action as may be necessary, reasonable, and proper, including without limitations, the evaluation, investigation, prosecution and/or settlement of any claims the District holds against the Northwest Arkansas Development District, arising from or related to its past management of the District.”
Arkansas Code Ann. § 8-6-714(d) The board may levy a service fee on each residence or business for which the board makes solid waste collection or disposal services available.
Is Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District making solid waste collection or disposal services available? NO!
Residents and business owners in other districts that have CLOSED LANDFILLS needto read this because what’s going on in Northern Arkansas – being taxed without a vote – most likely WILL happen in your area, also! Pay attention, or it will be too late! This is true in any new type district that’s created, whether it be sanitation or metropolitan development or the like. A District may vote to impose fees for its services bypassing a vote of the public OR the quorum court, but in this case, NABORS Landfill, there are no services available or provided.
In our previous articles, you’ve noticed that we track down all sorts of leads, from many different sources, including the names of people and organizations involved. Often, those names are changed, and sometimes it’s to protect the guilty…
Various names used for the landfill in Northwest Arkansas are listed below and are confusing because SO many different names are used! The landfill was originally permitted in 1979, and the last waste received at the landfill was in November 2012.
Some of the entity names used in regard to the landfill are:
The Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District AND the Ozark Mountain Regional Solid Waste Management District are overseen by some of the same board members. Good grief! This is like having a fox in the hen house.
See directly below. Pay attention, and compare the names yourselves!
(*Please note that many of board members below are also board members of the Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District)
Has anything been done to stop this ridiculous trash tax? YES! Residents in two counties have seen to it that this resolution (linked below) was brought forth immediately after the overreaching court ruling from Judge Fox.
The resolution was recently passed in both Boone and Newton Counties, and it still needs to be introduced and passed in Baxter, Carroll, Marion, and Searcy Counties quickly! If you are reading this alert, then make sure this happens. It will stand as official record of the residents’ and businesses’ protests. For the counties which WON’T pass the resolution, it should point to the judges and JP’s who DO NOT stand for, and with, the people!
ACTION ALERT: Call your Justice of the Peace (JPs) and ask them to sponsor this resolution for your county in the affected six-county area.
Remember, as we mentioned in Part 1, it was former Senator Johnny Key who introduced special legislation introduced which would allow ADEQ to access the Post-Closure Trust Fund in order to close the NABORS Landfill – something that was not allowed under current law. The legislation, introduced as HB1040, was unfortunately passed into law as Act 274 (see page 11 of that link), and THAT is the law that forced taxpayers in that area to foot the bill for the bond default. HB1040 provided appropriation money. You already know that the district filed for bankruptcy, but Circuit Judge Fox denied the request.
You may also want to know that former Senator Johnny Key is now Arkansas Commissioner of the State Board of Education. Could this position have been a reward for something? What do you think?
The other player was Senator Uvalde Lindsey from Fayetteville who introduced malevolent legislation in 2011 – HB1060 now known as ACT 209 which addressed solid waste district fees. This deadly bill swept through the Arkansas House and Senate like a dangerous wildfire!
ACT 209 TO CLARIFY THE POWER OF REGIONAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT BOARDS TO CHARGE AND COLLECT A FEE FOR MANAGEMENT OF SOLID WASTE AND TO DECLARE AN EMERGENCY.
In ACT 209, the legislators removed the voice of the voter and transferred that power to the Regional Board in which the people have no control. This is a Sustainable Developement (Agenda 21/ Agenda 2030) issue. Dear reader, we must wake up to the fact that most legislators are controlled by lobbyists and big business (corporations).
Now, back to one of the entitites involved with NABORS Landfill…
DAMCO Tire Dump in 2013 (now known as NABORS Landfill)
DAMCO is also known as the DAMCO tire dump and was sold to Northwest Arkansas Regional Solid Waste Management District in 2005.
We’ve mentioned earlier in our article that DAMCO is located at the NABORS Landfill, and the late Kenton F. Treat II (click here for his 2013 obituary) was the President/Founder of DAMCO. DAMCO corporation filed with the State of Arkansas 1/29/1996. Carolyn L. Treat was the Secretary and Treasurer.
Wasn’t it ADEQ’s responsibility to see that the landfill was not overfilled? And now we’re bringing in the Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District, so get prepared for what we found. With millions of tires stored on site, how did this exponential increase in tires happen when ADEQ inspectors were supposed to be overseeing this? And where did all of the recycling money go?
Kenton F. Treat II was on the Norwest Arkansas Economic Development District Board of Directors for 30 years, including 12 years as Board Chairman. He was also on the Arvest Advisory Board. Treat served 32 years as a Reserve Deputy with the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office, including 10 years with the Criminal Investigative Division. Mr. Treat was also a member of the Baxter County Planning Board and chaired the board for construction of the Baxter County Detention Center. As you can tell, this man was well connected in the policial system.
In 2006, Kenton F. Treat II landed a tire-disposal contract from the county agency while he was a Baxter County Official. In 2008 Johnny Key, a former Arkansas state legislator, asked the Arkansas Attorney General for an opinion on whether this was a conflict of interest. The Office of Dustin McDaniel, Attorney General, did not issue an opinion.
Ozark Mountain Regional Solid Waste Management District is the permit holder for the storage and tire baling site owned by the past Kenton Treat at the time the permit was issued. Back in March 2014. Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) was looking mainly to the late owner’s son, Kenton F. Treat to take responsibility for the site.The Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District may also be another one of the responsible parties that ADEQ was looking at. Why did ADEQ drop the ball and not go after the real people responsible for the landfill violations? Could it be true the ADEQ will let companies do whatever they want?
Berryville Mayor Tim McKinney, a past chairman of the WMD board, reminded the board that most of the apparent violations of storage limits at the tire site happened under the watch of the NWAEDD board of directors.
The baling operation was permitted to store up to 28,000 tires. During the most recent inspection, it held about 400,000 tires in and outside the permitted area. If the operation was permitted 28,000 tires, then why was it allowed such an outrageous overage?
During August 2002 time frame the President of RLH was B. C. Robbins and Joline Taylor was Secretary.
Joline Taylor was the Register Agent for the four corporations listed below.
The Arkansas Secretary of State Registered Agent for the five corporations is Joline Taylor.
The officers of the above five corporations are as follows:
Here’s more information about these topics:
Click here for the 2017–2018 Solid Waste Hauler Directory. Currently, there are fourteen (14) solid waste haulers in the Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District.
Click here for the Waste Tire Collection Centers in the Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District.
Click here for the ADEQ Permitted Facility Report.
Click here for the quarterly inspection report for the NABORS Landfill.
Below is an FOIA with some history on RLH, Inc.
From document 25950 linked directly above, Jane Rice (biologist, Arkansas Game and Fish, River Basins section) writes to Tony Morris (geologist, Arkansas Department of Pollution Control and Ecology):
HOWEVER, these statements appear extremely naive, given the fact that NABORS Landfill is CLASS ONE which means that it can receive HAZARDOUS WASTE!! The preliminary “adequate precautions” mentioned in the letter DO NOT and WILL NOT guarantee safety, and those bodies of water are precious! The soils and aquifer systems that lie below the surface of these sites may have become compromised and contaminated. Governments are aware of this potential harm.
So, according to the same letter to the Arkansas Department of Pollution Control and Ecology Memorandum from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission: both municipal waste AND industrial waste have been dumped in NABORS Landfill! Why should the taxpayers have to pay for the industrial waste clean-up passed on by the circuit court ??? Industrial? Absurd!
Another FOIA with info about RLH:
So…who are the industries that were dumping in NABORS Landfill to cause this shut-down???
See below, 1988 FOIA request is very telling and very damning for RLH because of all the hazardous waste that was being dumped between Bull Shoals Lake and Norfork Lake. This document states that trash was being dumped from a multi-state area!
This document states that trash from multi-state areas has been dumped in RLH for years! That statement was back in 1988, over 30 years ago!
When we asked ADEQ what industries were dumping in the NABORS/RLH Landfill, this was the email reply:
We do not have any information on what industries dispose of trash in any of the landfills. Melinda Caldwell at the district might have that information.
How is it that ADEQ doesn’t have this information, but Melinda Caldwell does?
Melinda Cadwell is the Executive Director of the Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District. Her firm, Via Recyclables, is under contract to manage Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District which iincludes providing administrative support services provided by a contractor, Cyndi Thomason of Dynamic Admin Solutions. Click here to read the Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District’s complete Needs Assessment signed by Melinda Caldwell, Executive Director, Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District.
Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District
A Freedom of Information request was sent to the Baxter County Assessor Jayme Nicholson for copies of documentation that lists the owner and sale price of each of the twenty pieces of property transferred to RLH Landfill. The official online records DO NOT indicate who the owner of the twenty pieces of property was, prior to RLH Landfill taking ownership.
***See point #15 on page 4 in document 29866 linked directly below for leachate, hazardous waste stating that NABORS Landfill was a Class One Landfill for Northwest Arkansas Regional Solid Waste Management District. It says, “Leachate analysis shall be conducted twice annually, or as directed by the Department. Volume measurements shall be made weekly. Results shall be submitted directly from the contract laboratory to the Department after each monitoring period, and shall include the following: Volume produced, Chlorides, Total Dissolved Solids, Chemical Oxygen Demand, Biological Oxygen Demand, pH, Zinc, Copper, Nickel, Lead, Chromium, and Cadmium.”
There are several letters in document 60931 linked directly below.
One of them is from Roger Lawrence of ADEQ to Paul Phillips of Crews and Associate.
Attached are the letters sent to NABORS outlining the deficiencies regarding the transfer request. Once these deficiencies have been addressed and resolved, the permits will be transferred to the proposed permittees. ADEQ understands that deficiencies #1 and #3 can only be addressed after the sale of the bonds.
If you have any questions, please call Bryan Leamons, P.E. of the Solid Waste Management Division Technical Branch at (501) 682-0602.”
For all of you researchers out there, there are multiple permit facility reports in the following two links from the ADEQ website will lead you to the solid waste data base on the NABORS project.
For the class 1 landfills:
For the class 4 landfills:
Waste management, disposal, and landfills are very BIG BUSINESS in all counties. Many people have called Secure Arkansas in the past about county money being missing, so we do believe there are potential problems with money in ALL counties! (Hopefully, this is not a monopoly showing its ugly face among us regarding trash collection, disposal, and landfills!)
Looks like all the players could get a cut of the action!
In landfills, profits can be skimmed from the business, the paperwork falsified, waste scales can be tampered with, and even dirty money can be hidden. Problems with cover-ups and “missing/mismanaged” money??? Please let us know…
In closing, Secure Arkansas wants to thank all the people who have helped contribute to both Part 1 & Part 2 (soon to be a Part 3) of the articles we have written regarding the NABORS Landfill.
Judge Mickey Pendergrass of Baxter County called and left a message wanting to know if there were only one person or many people writing our articles. In answer to his question, Secure Arkansas ALWAYS has several people writing ALL articles. NEVER does one lone ranger write an entire piece because there is a lot of information contained therein. And, for the Judge’s information, we were asked by many people (several in his area) to write this expose’ to help them better understand what was going on in that six-county area. Public servants should absolutely expect to be held accountable. The people totally felt blindsided and disgusted, as well as outraged!
And as always, stay in contact. If we have made any mistakes anywhere, please let us know and we will correct them immediately.
And yes, we are working on Extortion in Arkansas, Part 3, so stay tuned! Right now, it’s up to 22 pages, and you’ll definitely want to read it…
Remember: eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
As always, you can find our email articles posted on our website: SecureArkansas.com. The Search box is a handy tool. For more information about a topic, just type it into the Search box on our website, and click Enter!
Securing the blessings of liberty,
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