Monroe County Council member Shelli Yoder says former county plan commission president Kevin Robling lied when he first approached her about a proposal for a waste transfer station in June of last year. Yoder originally served as the registered agent for Indiana Green Transfer And Recyling, but stepped down from that role in October.
“Knowing that I trusted and said yes to a project that I thought was going to be helpful, that I thought was going to move Monroe County forward in a good direction … it sickens me to know that the exact opposite happened,” she says.
Yoder first spoke publicly about her involvement in the company at a county Board of Zoning Appeals meeting Wednesday night. At that meeting, board members voted to kill a zoning recommendation letter for the property of the proposed facility. Yoder says Robling approached her with the idea of the waste transfer station over the summer.
“He told me about this project and said that it would be really good for Monroe County. It would introduce competition to the market where there is no competition currently,” she says.
She says her role was to serve as the registered agent and field questions from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management during the permit process. When that took longer than she had originally been told, Yoder started asking more questions and decided to get out of the company. At that point, she says Robling asked her to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
“One of the reasons why I wanted to come forward was, absolutely, to begin revealing the truth. This is one situation, and what are the tentacles? We are yet to find out,” she says.
She alleges Indiana Green was actually a shell company for Hoosier Disposal/Republic Services, which provides trash services for Monroe County. Yoder says Kenneth Depasse, an employee of Hoosier Disposal/Republic Services, served as a silent partner in Indiana Green.
“Real hurt and turmoil happened to many of residents on the west side. I feel sick about that, and I want to do everything that I can to right that,” she says.
Yoder is now calling for more transparency and accountability for those involved in the project.
At Wedneday’s meeting, the board unanimously decided to overrule the planning department’s zoning letter for Indiana Green Transfer and Recycling, although the company announced plans to halt the project last week.
Robert Shaw owns property near the proposed site on Bloomington’s west side. He asked the board to reconsider the zoning letter because, while the project is dead, he’s worried it could be used to approve the zoning of a trash facility on the site in the future.
Zoning Appeals Board Chair Peter Kaczmarczyk says the board’s vote should prevent that from happening.
“They cannot come back under that approval document, and say, ‘hey, you approved us before, so we’re going ahead now,’” he says.
Kevin Robling and Kenneth Depasse have not responded to a request for comment.