Commissioners Vote on Waste Facility Bond Election in Andrews

By: Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

They've got the go-ahead to store low-level radio active waste in Andrews County, but Waste Control Specialists wants the county to pitch in $75 million for the project. The reason they're asking? The economy. 

The company needs some up-front cash now to get it going. Now taxpayers will decide if they want to give Waste Control Specialists a hefty loan in May.

It's unchartered territory for the Andrews County Commissioners. On Friday afternoon, they decided to call for the largest bond election in their history.

"Right now, money markets are so tight, they're having a hard time finding capital and this is a very time sesitive issue," Andrews County Judge Richard Dolgener, said.

During Friday's meeting, Waste Control Specialists made it clear the waste would not be "high level."

"In almost 30 years, they passed a low level radioactive waste policy in 1980 that established compacts for the State of Texas and this is the first one since 1980 that has been passed under that rule," Waste Control Specialists President Rodney Baltzer, said.

The proposal promises 5% revenue to the State and 5% to the County, meaning that by the first year, Andrews County will get about $6 million. The Andrews County Judge tells NewsWest 9, this project will help diversify the local economy with a public/private company partnership bringing over 100 new jobs to the area.

One Andrews County Commissioner told NewsWest 9 us he has some reservations, saying it could open the floodgates for other businesses to seek county help.

"I just didn't feel like this is something we needed to get into, in financing business," Andrews County Commissioner Randy Rowe said.

Waste Control Specialists says if the bond passes, they plan to begin construction in June and be fully operational by July of next year.