Hamm Quarries Construction & Asphalt Inc., Perry, operator of the Douglas County landfill, recently purchased the 400-acre landfill site from Lawrence National Bank.
The landfill, which is run jointly by Hamm, Douglas County and the city of Lawrence, is located north of Lawrence on U.S. 24-59 Highway just north of the Jefferson County line.
Meanwhile, a county official said Hamm has notified the county that it will request an increase in the "tipping" fee, the amount charged to dump material at the site.
Terry Sutcliffe, Lawrence National Bank president, said the bank sold the landfill site to Hamm Quarries last week.
"We obtained it from the estate of Howard Heck, who was the previous owner," Sutcliffe said.
Sutcliffe declined to reveal the price of the sale.
A SECRETARY for Rod Hamm, president of Hamm Quarries, said he did not wish to discuss the sale.
Chris McKenzie, Douglas County administrator, said he was pleased that an area firm purchased the landfill.
"I think the major thing is that it provides potential for some very good stablility for the landfill in the future," McKenzie said.
"We were very pleased to see that it remain under local control."
He said the landfill business is getting competitive and he had been worried that outside firms might come in and buy the property.
"We could have seen some other owner-operaters," he said.
McKenzie said he was not certain how much of the 400-acre tract was in active use as part of the landfill. The county has used the site as a landfill since 1981.
BESIDES Lawrence, the landfill also serves trash haulers from the rural parts of Jefferson and Leaveworth counties, he said.
McKenzie said the county has been notified of Hamm's proposal to increase the tipping fee. He said the Douglas County Commission is expected to meet with Hamm about the increase and to discuss the operating agreement.
The tipping fee is tied to the billing rate for local trash pickup, McKenzie said. "Every time the tipping fee increases, the billing rate goes up."
However, it's not a corresponding increase, he said. The tipping fee makes up a small portion of the overall cost of the city's trash removal system, he said.
Mike Wildgen, Lawrence city manager, said today he has told the city commission that any increase usually must be passed through to the user. However, he said no meeting has been set up to discuss the matter with Hamm and the county.