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Extortion in Arkansas - Tax Increase Part 4 & Landfill "Fee" Protest Meeting 3/17/18

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Extortion in Arkansas – Tax Increase, Part 4
& Landfill “Service Fee” Protest Meeting 3/17/2018
in Marshall, Ark.

 

Hopefully, INDICTMENTS will come out of this because it looks like 
the MULTI-MILLION dollar debt (payable to the BONDHOLDERS) 
was predetermined all along!

Follow The Money!

 
 

Secure Arkansas continues the very sad saga on the toxic Class 1 NABORS Landfill fiasco and the “service fee” (trash tax) that has been illegally forced onto the taxpayers’ real estate taxes this year (2018) in a six-county area in Northern Arkansas. More actors/players revealed!

 

Secure Arkansas recently sent an FOIA request to all of the assessors and collectors in Baxter, Boone, Carroll, Marion, Newton, and Searcy Counties. 

 

The following chart is broken down showing the number of parcels reported by the assessor and collector in each of the six (6) counties in which the $18 trash fee will be collected and the total approximate amount collected for year 2018.

Add it up. That’s a lot of money!

 

County     # of Parcels    Total Amt Collected       # Years to Collect

Baxter            22,754           $409,305.00                           20 +?

Boone            17,260            $310,680.00                          20 +?

Carroll            12,300             $221,400.00                          20+?

Marion             9,566             $172,180.00                           20+?

Newton            4,958               $89,244.00                         20+?

Searcy             5,810                 $104,580.00                        20+?

Total              63,082          $1,307,389.00

 

This multi-million dollar clean up is extremely costly and could continue for decades to come! 

So, what happens if you don’t pay this illegal ”service fee” (trash tax)? Could your property be sold? YES! Could this be a form of a LAND GRAB or a taking of property? YES!

 

Currently, the $18 trash tax fee assessment MUST be paid, or a tax lien will be levied against your property and eventfully sold by the State of Arkansas. If the taxpayer pays everything but the $18 fee, there still will be a tax lien levied against the property because they will show that you paid the $18 fee but not your full tax amount.

 

Questions that still need to be answered:

  1. Since NABORS was out of compliance from the very beginning, how did ADEQ allow the issuance of bonds to take place?
  2. Who handled the sale of the bonds for Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District?
  3. What was the total fee that the seller received for selling the bonds for theOzark Mountain Solid Waste District?
  4. Who has the list of the buyer or buyers of these bonds sold for Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District?
  5. Why did the bondholder(s) get off the hook since it appears that these are junk bonds? 
  6. Who is the bondholder of the bonds for Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District? It appears to be Cede & Company… but we want to know the exact name and identity of the true bondholder.
  7. Why did all parties agree to the illegal ruling of Circuit Judge Tim Fox?
  8. Did Judge Tim Fox only rely on the Receiverships’ Attorney, Geoffrey Treece, before making his ruling?
  9. How much money does the Trustee (Bank of the Ozarks) expect to receive for collecting this money for the Receiver (Cede & Company)?
  10. There have been reports of illegal dumping during after hours using the back roads into the RLH/NABORS landfill. Residents around RLH/NABORS landfill stated in 2005 that they witnessed trash trucks with out-of-state license plates using the back roads into RLH/NABORS landfill after hours when the main gate was closed. What is/was going on there?
  11. Will all six counties be able to sue the Receiver for the added expense when they end up re-issuing theirs bills removing the $18 fee?

 

Principal and interest of the bonds will be paid by Bank of the Ozarks, Little Rock, Arkansas directly to Cede & Company, nominee of Depository Trust Company, New York, New York, as registered owner thereof.  Cede & Company operates as a clearing house for stock transactions. The company was founded in 1996 and is based in New York, New York. Cede & Company operates as a subsidiary of The Depository Trust Company. (Continue reading and see more below about Bank of the Ozarks and George Gleason, their current CEO.)

 

The bondholder knew the bonds were risky but chose to buy the bonds anyway. It is the bondholders that need to take the loss, not the taxpayers! Who are these bondholders, anyway? And why are their investments being protected?

.

The recent unconstitutional court ruling forcing taxpayers to foot the bill for the multi-MILLION dollar NABORS Landfill debt was handed down from questionable Circuit Judge Tim Fox who presided over the receivership. This judgement has affected the grieved, over-burdened taxpayers in Baxter, Boone, Carroll, Newton, Marion and Searcy counties and has the potential to affect people in every county in Arkansas, not just the six-county area. 

 

As Barney Fife on the Andy Griffith Show would say, ”Nip it! NIP IT IN THE BUD!”

 

To our readers:  in order to get the complete story in each of our articles, it’s imperative that you click the hotlinks — the underlined portions of text in blue or colored font. Clicking those links will bring up important information and documents regarding the particular topic being addressed. You can read the documents and also print them, if you like. Keep in mind, some of them will consist of multiple pages.

 

According to Arkansas state statutes, the District (known as Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District) can only levy a fee if they provide a service. The $18 fee was added with no service being provided by the District. This is a violation of Arkansas statutes! (Keep reading…)

 

If this is your first time hearing about this hot topic, you’ll want to check out our 3 previous alerts about it: 
Extortion in Arkansas, Tax Increase – Trash Tax for 6 Counties in Northern Ark.

 

Justices of the Peace (JPs) are being told that under Arkansas law, the solid waste district may impose “fees” for its services, bypassing a public vote or individual counties’ quorum courts.

BUT NO SERVICES were provided or made available!! 

Legalities:  From the Court Papers with Ruling (INCLUDING the Amendment), and Item 3 on the amendment which replaced Item 5 in its entirety and reads as follows:

 

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. 

 

 

HOWEVER, the court ERRED and chose to ignore this vital part of Arkansas Code Ann. § 8-6-714(d): 

 

for which the board makes solid waste collection or disposal services available. 

 

This is the COMPLETE 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. 

 

Important 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 “service fee” (trash tax) assessment is NOT statutorily valid nor constitutional due to this fee/tax not being enacted as a result of a lawful election and approved by the county voters, AND because of the Constitution of the State of Arkansas(160 pages!), Article 7, Section 28, et al.

Article 7, Section 28. County courts – Jurisdiction – Single judge holding court. The County Courts shall have exclusive original jurisdiction in all matters relating to county taxes, roads, bridges, ferries, paupers, bastardy, vagrants, the apprenticeship of minors, the disbursement of money for county purposes, and in every other case that may be necessary to the internal improvement and local concerns of the respective counties. The County Court shall be held by one judge, except in cases otherwise herein provided.

 

You may recall from our Extortion in Arkansas – Tax Increase, Part 2 article:

  • 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.”

 

  • Official Arkansas Code 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!
 

If NOT, they CANNOT charge the fee. The taxpayers will NOT be taken advantage of  because of this is outrageous ruling!

 

*** This is causative debt!  The legal definition of “cause” is:

Each separate antecedent of an event. Something that precedes and brings about an effect or a result. A reason for an action or condition. A ground of a legal action. An agent that brings something about. That which in some manner is accountable for a condition that brings about an effect or that produces a cause for the resultant action or state.

 

A suit, litigation, or action. Any question, civil or criminal, litigated or contested before a court of justice.

 

 

Notice to Public Officials (Servants): ACTION is required from County Judges, Justices of the Peace (JPs) and County Assessors! The county judges AND the county assessors should persue any and all means to rectify this overreach by the Circuit Court and exempt all taxable people and entities in the affected counties, namely Baxter, Boone, Carroll, Marion, Newton, and Searcy Counties from this unwarranted taxation AND should refer the causative debt upon those who incurred it … not on the people!

 

The good people in the affected six-county area are protesting – and will continue to protest – and will NEVER ACCEPT this illegitimate, unconstitutional court ruling and paying this illegal “service fee” or trash tax, nor end up being forced into debt, so, counties, prepare to give a full major refund when this is resolved, possibly with interest!  (We’re still waiting for an answer to our question: WHY are the taxpayers being held responsible for this debt, especially since they didn’t incur it and they weren’t the cause or reason for it? They didn’t even get a chance to vote on it! They understandably feel COMPELLED to protest!) 

And how did the bondholders get off the hook, especially since these were risky bonds from the beginning? They were NOT guaranteed!

 

Why aren’t those responsible for managing this whole ordeal and making the decisions responsible?

 

ACTION for JPs: Please see to it the resolution that Secure Arkansas emailed you is passed in the quorum courts as quickly as possible. (We need the JPs to represent the people in your area and to provide an official record of the protests of paying this illegitimate “service fee” or trash tax!) We’ve hyperlinked PDF versions of the resolutions for each county directly below. If you need a .docx file (so you can make any necessary corrections to the contact info at the bottom of the resolution), let us know, and we’ll email you.
 

***Click here for Baxter County Resolution***

 

***Boone County UPDATED Resolution***  (ONLY if JPs there want to use this updated version; it does have more “teeth” to it.) 

 

***Click here for the Carroll County Resolution*** 

 

***Click here for the Marion County Resolution***

***Click here for the Newton County Resolution***

 

***Click here for the Searcy County Resolution***

 

 

**ACTION for Arkansas Legislators:  Legislation needs to be drafted that would prevent any district (including solid waste districts) from allowing fees to be added or assessed to the public without a proper election or vote by the people. The way it stands now, it’s very much like taxation without representation!

 

**PUBLIC MEETINGS Planned: Prepare and ARM YOURSELF WITH QUESTIONS! You can bet that the government is going to try to get the outraged over-taxed public calmed down! We’re expecting that some of the meetings planned could have a pre-determined outcome… depending on who is facilitating them. Don’t let them break you up into groups; listen to the whole meeting together!):

 

 

1) Searcy County Community Center in Marshall, Saturday, March 17, 2018, 6:30pm

Landfill fee inspires public meeting to plan action

 

The Searcy County Civic Center is located on Zack Road about 1.3 miles off U.S. Hwy. 65 in Marshall, Arkansas. Turn North on Zack Road, right next to Harps Supermarket. Travel for 1/2 mile and Zack Road turns left (west). Follow Zack Road for another 3/4 of a mile, and [it is] located on the left.

 

credit 

 

Here an excerpt from the Harrison Daily Times article: 

MARSHALL — Robert Baysinger said a special community meeting has been called for 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 17, [2018] in Marshall to begin the process of fighting the $18 fee assessed on property taxes regarding the landfill in Baxter County.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he will send a representative to Marshall for the meeting and state Sen. Missy Irvin said she would attend, Baysinger said. He has also invited any other interested legislators to attend.

 

 

*Secure Arkansas wants to thank Mr. Baysinger for arranging the Marshall meeting. We expect there to be standing-room only, and we wish him and all the taxpayers’ best. Mr. Baysinger, don’t let this meeting get hijacked! 

 

2) Baxter County Quorum Court: Meetings to be announced, according to Judge Pendergrass (The problematic Baxter County Judge wants to bring in Geoffrey Treece, attorney for the Receiver to do some explaining to the shocked and infuriated taxpayers.) 
https://www.baxterbulletin.com/story/news/local/2018/03/07/18-trash-fee-author-may-visit-baxter-county/402208002/

 

Here’s a brief snippet:

Baxter County Judge Mickey Pendergrass announced at Tuesday night’s Quorum Court meeting that plans were being made to bring Geoffrey Treece, the court-appointed receiver for the lawsuit between the Bank of the Ozarks and the Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District, to several town halls across the six counties that make up the district.

Treece, tasked with recouping what money he could for investors holding $12 million worth in bonds defaulted on by the Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District, is the attorney that proposed that the $18 service fee be collected from landowners inside the district, which includes the counties of Baxter, Boone, Carroll, Marion, Newton and Searcy counties.

 

Please keep reading… and follow the money!

 

And into what bank will the hard earned taxpayer money go? Into Bank Of The Ozarks as the Trustee. This bank has 250 offices in 10 states and could pay off the landfill debt and wouldn’t even miss one cent of their money, instead of sticking the taxpayer with this unjustifiable “causative” debt problem! Also, because of our suspicious nature, we can’t help but wonder… could this bank be the one financing all the property that Mr. Crockett purchased? McKinney, too?  (We think that a bank this large could launder money very easily! We are merely speculating here.)
 

George G. Gleason has been the chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the Bank of the Ozarks since 1979. He also worked for the Rose Law Firm in 1979:

George Gleason, a lawyer specializing in banking at the Rose Law Firm, bought Bank of Ozark in 1979 when it had $28 million in assets and changed its name to Bank of the Ozarks.

 

Bank of the Ozarks CEO’s Pay Up 5 Percent in 2016

 

  • George Gleason, 63, chairman and chief executive officer of Little Rock’s Bank of the Ozarks Inc., received total compensation of $6.2 MILLION during 2016.  
  • Among insiders, George and Linda Gleason control the largest collective block of stock, 4.98 percent worth $332.5 million.

 

And here are the executive salaries for the Big Wigs at Bank of the Ozarks: 

https://www1.salary.com/BANK-OF-THE-OZARKS-Executive-Salaries.html 

 

 

The following information came from the Arkansas Secretary of State website when doing a Register Agent search of George G. Gleason:

 

Name

City

State

Status

BANK OF THE OZARKS, INC.

LITTLE ROCK

AR

Merged

BANKSTOCK ONE, INC.

OZARK

AR

Merged

EURO ART AND DESIGN LLC

LITTLE ROCK

AR

Good Standing

GEORGE & LINDA #1, LLC

LITTLE ROCK

AR

Good Standing

JESUS OZARK, INC.

OZARK

AR

Dissolved

JRT ACQUISITION CORPORATION

LITTLE ROCK

AR

Dissolved

LINDA G.’S, INC.

OZARK

AR

Dissolved

OZARK COMMERCIAL CORPORATION

X

AR

Withdrawn

OZARK FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC.

OZARK

AR

Dissolved

SOUTHERN DIVERSIFIED FINANCIAL SERVICES CORPORATION

OZARK

AR

Dissolved

 

 

 

Officers for the Bank of the Ozarks, Inc are:

  • George G. Gleason, Chairman of the Board/Chief Executive Officer/President
  • Tyler Vance, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Banking Officer
  • Greg McKinney, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Accounting Officer, Vice-President
  • Helen Brown, Secretary

 

 

Also see, Greg L. McKinney (Bank Of The Ozarks) made $1,970,215 in total compensation:

 https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=22652104&privcapId=362889 

 

 

We can’t help but to wonder... just how many corrupt politicians, law enforcement officers, government agencies, and inspectors were paid off and worked with organized crime to allow illegal dumping in this small town landfill? (Some of them may have just turned their heads in order to keep their job!) Don’t forget, the landfill accepted municipal AND industrial toxic waste!

 

We suspect that other hazardous landfills in the state are dangerously under this controlling thumb of the mob and its politicians, too! 

 

Remember, we are trying to put the complicated and perplexing puzzle pieces together regarding this extremely hot issue, and we need your help! Please continue to feed us information, and we will do our best to report on it.

 

On March 12, 2018, our Secure Arkansas State Coordinator visited the active landfill and took some pictures. Activity is going on out there! Also, some of the residents in the area were interviewed, and what they said was very alarming. Going back as early as 2005, it was reported that there were many out-of-state trucks dumping after hours. Access to this after-hour dumping was north of the main gate, about 1/2 mile or so.

 

For those of you who would like more history surrounding this landfill debacle, check out this 

NABORS Landfill Timeline as of March 2018. We’ve also included it, as is, directly below. (This timeline was provided by one of the JPs in the affected areas.)

 

 

 

1981

http://www.pressreader.com/usa/northwest-arkansas-democrat-gazette/20130804/281908770773378

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality issues a solid waste permit for the RLH Landfill in BaxterCounty

1991

Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District – one of 18 regional solid waste districts In Arkansas, established in 1991 by the Arkansas General Assembly. The Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District includes Baxter, Boone, Carroll, Marion, Newton, and Searcy Counties in North Central Arkansas. The District Board of Directors is comprised of each County Judge, and the Mayors of all Class I Cities (In the spring of 2011, the Board adopted a new name — Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District, to replace the name of Northwest Arkansas Regional Solid Waste Management District.)

2002

RLH management puts the landfill on the market

2003

November – The Environmental Quality Department issues a notice of violation to the RHL citing repeated violations of solid waste regulations and Arkansas Code. RLH later agrees to pay $250,000 in fines and set aside an additional $500,000 in financial assurances to fund post-closure costs on portions of the landfill

2005

October 1 – Bank of the Ozarks issues $12.3 million in bonds to the Northwest Arkansas Regional Solid Waste Management District (later knows as the Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District) for the purchase of RLH Landfill and its hauling services, as well as several environmental remediations to the site. The landfill and hauling service are renamed the North Arkansas Board of Regional Sanitation or NABORS.

2008

The Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District board begins increasing users’ tipping fees at the landfill. Over several years, the cost increases from $33 per ton to $42 per ton of garbage.

2010

Trash hauling services in Searcy, Baxter and Newton counties begin hauling garbage to dumps outside of the solid waste district, greatly reducing the revenue of the Nabors Landfill.

2012

Source: http://harrisondaily.com/news/baxter-landfill-up-for-sale-nabors/article_40b6652e-6d61-11e1-a16e-001871e3ce6c.html

March 14 Harrison newspaper article: The North Arkansas Board of Regional Sanitation, or NABORS, an alliance of Mountain Home and Baxter and Marion counties, had been trying to buy NABORS Landfill for a long time. The Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District back in 2012 owned the landfill and gave NABORS a deadline of March 13, 2012 to arrange financing to make the purchase.

Although BaxterCounty officials made a strong case Tuesday to be allowed a little more time to arrange financing, the solid waste district board voted 8 – 4 to deny that request and sell it instead to any interested company.

Mountain Home Mayor David Osman and Baxter County Judge Joe Bodenhamer addressed the solid waste board, which consists of county judges and mayors of first class cities in Baxter, Boone, Carroll, Marion, Newton and Searcy counties.

Bodenhamer said all six counties voted to purchase the landfill years ago (2005). Those counties all agreed to use the landfill to pay for it, but they haven’t followed through and created a financial hardship for the landfill.

Osmon said the landfill actually was beginning to operate in the black before the other counties started taking their trash to other landfills.

Bodenhamer explained that the Baxter County Quorum Court recently passed a resolution supporting a 3/8-cent sales tax that would be used to purchase the landfill.

Osmon said NABORS had begun negotiations with Heartland Environmental Services, LLC to manage the closure of the one cell for which the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality has taken the solid waste to task.

He said there are funds in accounts set aside for financial assurance that could be used to funding closing that cell if NABORS was allowed to buy the landfill.

He went on to say that the alliance is current on all debt payments, that payment schedules are established for repayment of delinquent sales tax and the alliance has done all water testing as required by law.

“We can operate this landfill,” Osmon said.

Bodenhamer again emphasized that all counties in the solid waste district should fulfill their moral and financial obligations by taking their trash to NABORS.

He said 90 percent of the businesses in BaxterCounty are locally owned and depend on the environment in some fashion. He asked for more time to allow the alliance a chance to protect the landfill and the environment.

“This is in our back yard,” Bodenhamer said.

Board chairman Tim McKinney said he didn’t believe there was enough time to save the landfill as it is “bleeding money.”

He also said he didn’t think BaxterCounty voters were likely to pass a sales tax to basically subsidize trash service for other counties in the district, who would only be paying tipping fees.

Osmon said NABORS would consider reducing tipping fees to $34 dollars a ton, down from $42, if the other counties agreed to take their trash back to NABORS.

NABORS manager Jason Kincade said the only way the landfill could continue operating was with that flow from all counties. He said the landfill wouldn’t be operating by June without the flow control.

Bodenhamer asked that the board give the alliance until June 26, when the special election on the sales tax could be held.

McKinney said he took some criticism for commenting last June that he didn’t think the alliance’s plan was feasible. He said there had been no plan for a sales tax election until the last minute.

“And, folks, we’re up against the wall right now,” McKinney, also Berryville mayor, said.

“Mayor,” Osmon responded, “I find this cruelly amusing.”

Osmon said CarrollCounty took all of its business away from NABORS, leading to the downfall.  (my note: there were many reasons NABORS failed – mostly by mismanagement of the landfill)

Bodenhamer said it appeared some board members had made up their minds before the meeting, so he moved for the solid waste district to accept NABORS’ plan for more time. Osmon seconded the motion.

In a roll call vote, only Osmon, Bodenhamer, Sara Thorne (proxy for Marion County Judge Pete Giles) and Allen Webb (proxy for Bull Shoals Mayor Bruce Powell voted in favor of the motion.

Boone County Judge James Norton, Harrison Mayor Jeff Crockett, Carroll County Judge Sam Barr, Phil Jackson of Eureka Springs, Green Forest Public Works director Buddy Fry, Newton County Judge Warren Campbell, Searcy County Judge Johnny Hinchey and McKinney voted against the motion.

2012

October – The Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District board votes to default on the $12.3 million bond issue, a first in the state’s history.

2012

November – NABORS Landfill closes, no longer accepting garbage. All but a handful of workers at the landfill and hauling service are laid off.

2013

February – The Environmental Quality Department files suit against the Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District for nearly $2.2 million to be applied to the cost of final closure of one portion of the NABORS Landfill.

2013

April – Bank of the Ozarks files a notice of acceleration against the Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District: demanding immediate repayment of the unpaid balance of the $12.3 million bond issue

2013

July – The Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District board approves the expenditure of $17,500 for a study to determine the costs of permanently closing the landfill’s active cells, as well as the operational costs for the third party waste management company to operate the landfill

2016

Dec 2, 2016 Nabors Landfill office in Mountain Home burgled

By JAMES L. WHITE [email protected] 

http://harrisondaily.com/news/nabors-landfill-office-in-mountain-home-burgled/article_29491506-b813-11e6-a765-9f818cc42e60.html 

Caldwell told board members Thursday that the Nabors Landfill office in Mountain Home was a victim of the burglary.

She said she and Pendergrass were going through the office in preparation for the district’s court case regarding default on bonds sold to purchase the landfill.

Caldwell said she didn’t know exactly what was missing, but a former employee had been asked to help ID any district property investigators had taken to the Baxter County Fairgrounds for potential victims to identify.

2016

December – open for bids for construction for closure of NABORS Landfill

2017

April 26 – Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox ruled Friday afternoon that the receiver could impose the yearly fee to recoup bondholders’ money. Under Fox’s ruling, the receiver shall cause an annual $18 fee to be assessed against each residence and business in the solid waste district, which covers the counties of Baxter, Boone, Carroll, Marion, Newton and Searcy counties.

The service fee will be billed on the yearly property tax bill of residents and business owners in the district. Judge Fox’s ruling specifically states that owners of multi-unit residential properties will be charged a service fee for each unit on the property.

The $18 per year service fee would continue until the bondholders were repaid. That could take 20 years or more, unless the district completed its bond repayments early somehow. Once the bond debt is repaid, the service will continue to be collected at the rate of $2 per year to cover the solid waste district’s post-closure needs at the NABORS landfill.

Under Arkansas law, the solid waste district may impose fees for its services, bypassing a public vote or individual counties’ quorum courts.

2017

May – Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality starts clean-up.

2017

http://www.ozarksfirst.com/news/failed-nabors-landfill-cleanup-project-begins/845564941

Oct 26, 2017

BAXTER COUNTY, Ark.– A multi-million dollar mess is finally getting cleaned up in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Taxpayers will eventually be footing the bill for the failed NABORS Landfill for decades to come.

It’s been five years since garbage was last dumped in the overfilled NABORS landfill.

“The closure took place with the problems in tact and actually worse,” Baxter County Judge Mickey D. Pendergrass said.

The group picking up the tab is the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality. The price tag is $13-milion; that’s down from the original estimate of $18-million. The ADEQ started properly closing the bankrupt landfill in May. Weston Lee is the project engineer.

“Currently, the NABORS project is about $25,000 under budget,” Lee said. “As far as being on time, we’re actually ahead of schedule by a week and a half.”

You have to dig deep under the mound of trash to understand where the trouble originated. The landfill was overfilled and didn’t meet environmental regulations. Methane gas needed to be regulated and leachate, water with heavy metals, trash, and other potential chemicals, had the potential to leak into groundwater.

If left uncontrolled, leachate could have seeped into the soil and ended up at nearby NorforkLake, which is a major water supply for the people of BaxterCounty. The leachate is now properly being drained and hauled to the Springfield Water Treatment Plant in Missouri to be disposed.

Three major areas of the landfill are being fixed. First, contract crews relocate the existing waste.

“The contractor has drilled gas wells to allow the release of methane to prevent any exposures of that nature,” Lee said. “We then graded, sloped, and smoothed out the urban soils.”

Finally, closure turf is installed with sand infill. The project is expected to be complete in May 2018.

Judge Pendergrass said he’s happy to see the progress, but it does come at a cost to people who live in the area.

“Somebody’s got to pay for it, and that’s always been the issue with it,” Judge Pendergrass said.

The problems at NABORS was inherited by the Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District, which includes six counties in Arkansas. The ADEQ took control because the District attempted to file for bankruptcy, but a judge said it couldn’t because it didn’t exhaust all options to fund the cleanup.

Everyone who lives in that district will have to pay back the ADEQ for the work being done now to properly close it. That means if you live in Baxter, Boone, Carroll, Marion, Newton, or Searcy counties, you’ll soon pay a yearly fee of $18 until the $13-million debt is paid off.

2018

http://www.ozarksfirst.com/news/nabors-landfill-tax-dispute/1026939417

Mar 9 2018

MOUNTAIN HOME, Ar.– Residents in six Arkansas counties have received their property tax bills — but with an extra fee attached.

After the Nabor Landfill in BaxterCounty went out of business six years ago, investors lost a lot of money. Now, property tax owners have been given a court order to come out of their pockets to pay them back. But, many believe the landfill issue is not their problem to solve.  

“I don’t like the 18-dollar fee anymore than any other tax payers do,” said Baxter County Judge Mickey Pendergrass, “I have five properties that I’m going to be paying a fee on. So, I get it and I understand it.” 

Judge Pendergrass says taxpayers may catch a break in court. But, is it worth it?  

“There are some loopholes I think in the court order it appears to me. I’m not a lawyer, I’m not an attorney, I’m not a constitutional attorney. But, I think it’s something that the taxpayers could challenge if they see fit. But, that takes money…and 18-dollars a year verses what it’s going to cost to get it in front of the Supreme Court to get a constitutional question.. that’s what has to be weighed.”

So, when all is said and done, just how much will this cost the taxpayers?

“It’s about 11 million dollars owed to the bond holders -- and this court order froze that amount, ” Judge Pendergrass said. 

Taxpayers have also been ordered to cover up to 15 million dollars the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality spent closing and cleaning up the landfill. All of this upsets some. 

But, then there are others like Jim Clarke of BaxterCounty, who are taking it all in stride.

“It’s something I would rather not have to pay. But, if it only takes 18-dollars to get the mess cleaned up on my part, I’m certainly willing to pay it.”

Also in the court order..a two-dollar fee, that taxpayers will have to pay forever, to maintain the landfill property from becoming an eyesore. Judge Pendergrass says it will take almost 20-years to pay back the entire amount owed.

 

 
Notice the 2016 entry on the timeline chart above - “Funny” thing happened: the NABORS’ office was burglarized there in Mountain Home! Baxter County Judge Pendergrass and dubious Melinda Caldwell (Director of Ozark Mountain Solid Waste) were preparing for the district court case, then, all of a sudden, out of the blue, POOF! … NABORS was robbed, and paperwork disappeared! How convenient! Wonder what documents they didn’t want the court to see? Also, what did the sheriff’s department know about what was going on in the NABORS Landfill? 

 

—————————————————————————

 
 

In closing, we want to propose another important question: are some of the Class 1 landfills in Arkansas built over our major (and precious) aquifers?

 

 

Please look for Extortion In Arkansas – Tax Increase, Part 5 coming soon…

 

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 (such as FLUORIDE), just type it into the Search box on our website, and click Enter!
 

Securing the blessings of liberty,
 

Secure Arkansas
securetherepublic.com/arkansas
[email protected]


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