Keota Fire Clean-up Controversy

By Mark Geary, Reporter

Tools

By Kelli Sutterman

KEOTA, Iowa – A fire destroyed multiple businesses in Keota back in December. Cleaning up the mess after that kind of a disaster can often take months.

Bill Miller had all the rubble removed less than three weeks after fire burned his buildings to the ground.

Landfill fees cost him $31,000 because the debris contained asbestos.

Then, the landfill board slashed its rate after Miller pointed out it was higher than many other similar sites…but the group refused to refund any of his money.

“The tipping fees here at the landfill have been 150 dollars for years. We’ve never really had a discussion about it,” chairman of the SEMCO Landfill Board Dick Reed said.

Miller paid that $150 per ton fee, but soon realized the rate was unfair compared to other landfills.

When he complained, the board dropped the price down to 65 bucks for all future customers, but refused to reimburse him.

“We couldn’t see, at the time, how we could lower the tipping fees for one individual because that wouldn’t be fair and equitable to everyone else,” Reed said.

Miller said, “It’s like kicking a person when he’s down, stabbed in the back, whatever you want to say.”

Reed said, “I one-hundred percent see how it’s a raw deal for him.”

Even though the board had sympathy for Miller, members worried how other customers would react.

“As soon as you open up the gate and say, ‘I’m going to help you out,’ the next fella is going to say, ‘How about me?’” Reed said.

So, now the board lies stuck between trying to help a guy out and trying to be fair to everyone else.

“I hope they see it really is the right thing to do,” Miller said.

The landfill board meets Wednesday, March 16. At that meeting, members will discuss whether to make that lower rate retroactive for Miller and possibly others.

Conversation Guidelines

Be Kind

Don't use abusive, offensive, threatening, racist, vulgar or sexually-oriented language.
Don't attack someone personally. Keep it civil and be responsible.

Share Knowledge

Be truthful. Share what you know and what you are passionate about.
What more do you want to learn? Keep it simple.

Stay focused

Promote lively and healthy debate. Stay on topic. Ask questions and give feedback on the story's topic.

Report Trouble

Help us maintain a quality comment section by reporting comments that are offensive. If you see a comment that is offensive, or you feel violates our guidelines, simply click on the "x" to the far right of the comment to report it.


read the full guidelines here »

Commenting will be disabled on stories dealing with the following subject matter: Crime, sexual abuse, property fires, automobile accidents, Amber Alerts, Operation Quickfinds and suicides.

facebook twitter rss mobile google plus
email alerts you tube hooplanow pinterest instagram

What's On KCRG