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Waterloo Courier Newspaper Archive: January 9, 1977 - Page 1

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Publication: Waterloo Courier

Location: Waterloo, Iowa

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   Waterloo Courier (Newspaper) - January 9, 1977, Waterloo, Iowa                              Sunday January 9, 1977, Waterloo, Iowa 86 pages sections 35 cents New look, old problems as legislature convenes By BOB CASE Courier Staff Writer DES MOINES-The 67th Iowa General Assembly convenes Monday with at least a partial new look, a potentially explosive new issue and some of the same old problems. Highlights of the first week will be two appearances by Gov, Robert Ray before joint sessions of the House and Senate. The governor will deliver his annual state of the state message Tuesday and .present his proposed budget for the two- year period starting July 1 Friday. THE REST of the week will be devoted mainly to organizational activities. Topping virtually every lawmaker's priority list is an old legislative bugaboo- property taxes. It is an issue which occupied a great deal of the legislature's time' in 1976, but the question of how to keep property taxes from skyrocketing and still provide ade- quate funding for local government re- mains unresolved. The new issue also relates to the state's corporate income tax law. Polk County District Judge Anthony Critelli last month- ruled the tax 'un- constitutional. ONLY IOWA taxes corporate income solely on the basis of sales within the state so-called single-factor method. Other states use the "three-factor" method, averaging in payroll and proper- ty in addition to sales. There was fear the ruling left the state without a corporate income tax, but Critelli ruled Friday only the portion dealing with gross sales in the state is unconstitutional. His new ruling allows the state revenue director to decide how to tax corporations "net sales'' in the state, and out-of-state .corporations are expected to push for a three-factor method. THE STATE will continue to appeal to the state Supreme Court about the ruling on the earlier suit, brought by an Illinois manufacturer. The question before the legislature -will be whether to wait for the Supreme Court to decide or to move immediately to revise the la'w. The decision adds impetus to the con- tention- by many Democrats that Iowa should adopt the three-factor move opposed in the past by the governor and Republican lawmakers. Tied in with the property tax question this year is a concerted move by the League of Iowa Municipalities for local option taxation. The league insists cities and Bounties must have an alternative source of re- venue as a partial replacement for pro- perty taxes. ALSO AFTER additional state funding are local school districts and city and county governments. Hit by inflation and declining enroll- Your Iowa legislators DISTRICT: 5 Ray Taylor, R-Stearaboat Rock 7 Milo Merritt, D-Osage 8 Rolf Craft, R-Decorah 9 Dale L. Tieden, R-Elkader 16 James Gallagher, D-Jesup 17 Fred W. Nolting, D-Waterloo 18 Willard R. Hansen, R-Cedar Falls 19 Clifford E. Burroughs, R-Greene 20 Elizabeth R. Miller, R-Marshalltown 36 Joan Orr, D-Grinnell House DISTRICT: 9 Delwyn Stromer, R-Garner 10 Richard Welden, R-Iowa Falls 13 Rollin K. Howell, D-Rockford 14 William B. Griffee, D-Nashua 15 Donald D. Avenson, D-Oelwein 16 Semor C. Tofte, R-Decorah 17 Roger Halvorson, R-Monona 18 Terry Dyrland, D-Elkader 31 Russell L. Wyckoff 32 Kenneth D. Miller, D-Independencc 33 Henry C. WuHf, R-Waterloo 34 Albert Ganisoa, D-Waterloo 35 Diane Brandt, D-Cedar Falls 3S Mary O'Halloran, D-Cedar Falls 37 Ray Lagescnulte, R-Waverly 38 Cooper Evans, R-Grundy Center 40 James West. R-State Center 71 Emil Husak, D-ToJefo Keep in touch By mail or telephone, it's easy to communicate with your representative and senator while the Iowa Legislature is in session. Address him (or her) at the Statehouse, Des Moines, Iowa 50319. To reach a senator by telephone, call (515) 281-3371. For a representative, the number is (515) 281-3221. ment, most school districts are facing severe financial problems, and their budget growth is restricted by the state's school aid formula. Some officials, led by State Comptroller Marvin Selden, believe the state also is facing serious financial problems two or three years down the road, despite a healthy treasury balance of some S260 million at the end of the last fiscal year (June 30, Selden predicts the balance will be See LEGISLATURE Continued on page 2, col. 3 WHBN THE POft WANTS TO SLEEP INSIWE AT NI6WT.. WHEN THE STACKS UP IN THE WITHIN WHEN EVEN YOUR SNOWMOBILE WONT STAAT... WHEN FEELS WARM.. Pilot project proposed Consider recycling garbage, city asked By DAVE BROWN Assistant City Editor Bruce Bottorff wants the city to spend to grind garbage into little chunks, and he's convinced it wouldn't be money down the drain. Bottorff, superintendent of the .Waterloo Water Pollution Control Plant at 3500 Easton Ave., is proposing to begin a miniature waste-recycling program as a pilot project. The would be used to buy a grinder and other equipment to get the project underway. IF THE experiment is successful, he says, it could set the stage for a city decision on whether to get into waste recycling in a large way. Even the small pilot project he has in mind should save the city money in two ways, he says. They are: saving of as much as per year in county landfill fees. potential sale of a by-product, methane gas, to Iowa Public Service Co. Bottorffs request for the extra is in the proposed budget for fiscal 1977- 78, now being considered as the city budget is put together. The grinder he wants to purchase would cost about It has carbon steel teeth and chews up garbage, even 2 by 4 lumber and nylon carpeting, into quarter inch chunks. THE CHOPPED garbage would then be fed into the plant's six digesters, where methane is generated. The final end pro- duct, sludge, is taken away and spread on the ground. If his request is retained in the budget. Bottorffs experiment would affect only one neighborhood in Waterloo, perhaps 30 to 40 households. These residents would have to volun- teer to separate their refuse into organic and non-organic materials. The organic wastes, including paper, would go through the pollution control plant grinder. The non-organic waste, such as glass, plastic and metal, would still be taken to the county landfill. "In the Botorff says, "I'd probably have to pick it up myself." He says he doesn't foresee many pro- blems in getting residents of a neighborhood to volunteer for the project. "I THINK people would like to get involved with recycling. But, if they think it's too much of a hassle, we'd have to look at it (the project) again." Bottorff says the experiment is feasible because his plant's digesters usually operate at about 35 per cent of capacity. The percentage of capacity rises during periods of peak use. Plus, the addition of two new digesters in 1970 gave the plant the estimated capacity to handle the city's wastes as far in the future as 1990, he says. He believes the pollution control plant could handle up to three garbage truckloads of organic waste per week. He points out that if that capacity were reached, it would amount to a saving to the city of approximately per truckload per week what it would cost to dump it at the landfill. That adds up to a landfill fee savings of per year. TOE OTHER plus is that the added waste would produce more methane. The pollution control plant uses methane it produces to heat all its build- ings and operate all its engines and two boilers. Any excess has been sold to the Iowa Public Service Co., which has a direct line to the plant. The plant produces so much methane, Bottorff says, that, "We haven't bought any natural gas for the past five years." But, the plant uses so much of the gas, sales to IPS have been spotty. "We haven't sold any since September 1975." Bottorff says he projected, the city would realize from the sale of methane in 1976-77, a figure that may not be reached. METHANE production has been down because Rath Packing Co., which pro- duces many of the solid wastes best turned into methane, has been operating at less than full production. But, Rath is operating at higher produc- tion levels now, because of a better supply of hogs, and methane production should rise again. IPS pays the city the going rate for natural gas for its methane. The price is currently SI.05 per million British Thermal Units (BTUs) of methane. In October of 1971, the plant sold million BTUs to IPS.- At that time the price was about S.24 per million BTUs, and the city netted That amount sold at today's prices would have netted the city just under And. Bottorff notes that "a few years the city sold about million BTUs in one month. "I'M CERTAIN in a year's time we could pay off the pump Bot- torff believes. "You're never going to make he says of the recycling project, "you're just going to offset some of your costs." He also warns, "If it works in one city, it may not work here. Although it looks good on paper, it's still more of an art than a science, and I think engineers would tell you that." If Bottorffs experiment is approved, and he can arrange for the neighborhood volunteers, here's what would happen to their organic garbage: It would be picked up, taken to the pollution control plant, and "put down some type of hopper." Then it would enter a pipe and be forced through the grinder into one of ihe digesters. "A DIGESTER is basically a Bottorff says, which operates at tem- peratures ranging from 90 to 118 degrees. "It creates an atmosphere for methane producing bacteria to live. It's a natural reaction, but we're controlling it in a tank." The methane is pumped out of the digesters, either for use by the pollution control plant, or, if there is enough, into the IPS pipeline. Althiough the city has had to wrestle with tight budgets in recent years, Bot- torff says Mayor Leo Rooff was interested in the pilot project when he first proposed it about a year ago. "1 told him I would ask for it at budget hearing time. "This could be a viable alternative to waste disposal. It is worth trying. I think." Today's Quick Comment 'TIS THE season to clean up your driving act. In this slushy and sloppy time of year, motorists should be sure headlights and taillights are kept clean. It's easy for street slush to put a grimy coating on lenses, sometimes making it. almost impossible for other drivers to see brake and turn signal lights. .And if, when driving at night, you've had the feel- ing that your eyes are going bad, look probably just dirty headlights. So clean up. Inside Are no return, no deposit beverage containers on the way out? See page 17. Weather Continued very cold Monday with highs zero to five above. Complete weather on page 2. Capitol quips There's a type of modern music called Punk Rock in case you-didn't know there was any other kind.   

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