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Fechter honored as ‘epitome of public servant’

Donna Fechter, director of solid waste management, is soon retiring after a lengthy career in Boyle County.

Fechter thanked the Danville City Commission, mayor and staff this week for “all the years I’ve been here and all of the support I’ve received.” She is retiring after 28 years of service.

“I’ve gone through three judges, numerous mayors and city commissioners, and I’ve always felt welcome, and always felt that the political will here for a clean community was the best part of my job,” she said. “Thank you very much for all of these years.”

After Fechter received a round of applause and returned to the audience, Mayor Mike Perros asked her to stand.

“Donna Fechter, you are the epitome of what a true public servant is,” Perros said. “There was no environmental concerns 28 years ago, no recycling 28 years ago — you’ve done all, and done it gracefully, professionally, and you always have a smiling face whenever you come in. To say we’re going to miss you, would just be a wasted understatement. You have a home here.”

Fechter also introduced the commission to her replacement, Angie Muncy, formerly in the same role for Leslie County. Muncy and Fechter know each other due to serving on the executive committee for the Solid Waste Coordinators of Kentucky, of which Muncy is the chair.

“She’s also just been put on the Kentucky River Authority Commission by the governor. She’s very qualified and tenacious,” Fechter said, and added Muncy won’t “skip a beat” in filling her shoes.

“I don’t think I can fill your shoes too quick,” Muncy said, when introduced. She told the commission she’s looking forward to working with everyone. She was a city clerk for 15 years in Hyden; and she has been a solid waste coordinator for the past 12 years.

Fechter said she plans on enjoying the community now “on the residential side of things” and plans to stay here.

“Well, you’ve paid your dues,” Perros said. “This community is significantly different and better because of you. Thank you.” The crowd again applauded her.

‘Recycling is Broken’ webinar

City Manager Ron Scott said while on the topic of recycling, “it’s going through a big change nationally and worldwide.” China changing its policy on accepting scrap metal and the prices it will pay for it has largely been driving the issue, Scott said, based on his understanding following a Bluegrass Area Development District presentation.

“Probably pending tariff issues have affected pricing, or at least could,” he said.

On Tuesday, Dec. 4, the City of Danville will present a free webinar, conducted by the International City and County Management Association, that will address the changes taking place.

“The title is not encouraging,” Scott said, referring to “Recycling is Broken: A Year-End Update.”

“This will present challenges for the city and county, unless those economies change. My limited understanding is that some countries no longer wish to purchase recyclables, or purchase them at the levels of prior years,” Scott said.

This is making it “not economically feasible for companies such as Republic (Services) to consider it to be an offset to the service cost they otherwise provide to the city.” He said since the city’s current 10-year waste contract ends in 2020, it’s time to review the situation and make a determination.

“This will be the first step in that. It will also be useful for citizens and county officials to attend, to give them a big-picture view of what’s happening with recycling materials.”

The free webinar will be held in the city hall meeting room, 1-2:30 p.m. Dec. 4.