Elkins Council moving forward with landfill closure

Elkins City Council heard updated information about the closure process for the Elkins-Randolph County Landfill during its meeting last week.

“We have finally received the closure permit for the landfill,” Elkins Operations Manager Bob Pingley told councilmembers. “We’ve been more than a year asking about it … but this does start the clock ticking. Some of the things we have to get to them are a closure plan, engineering and that type of thing. So we are going to start moving forward with that.

“We’ve talked to the (state) Public Service Commission about accessing the funds that we have available in escrow and other accounts. We’ve also talked to the (state Department of Environmental Protection) to see if they would let us do a closure plan,” Pingley said. “We think with the money we have that we can get pretty close to a full closure.”

Councilwoman Nanci Bross-Fregonara noted that during last week’s Elkins Municipal Election candidate forum, a resident had asked about timber on the landfill property.

“There’s a small amount of commercial timber on that property,” Pingley said. “With the price of standing timber as low as it is right now, it was looked at a couple years ago and we decided to wait and hope for a better price.”

Council voted in August 2011 to close the landfill, which was losing money. The last day the landfill accepted garbage was in September 2011.

Pingley also noted that the city advertised for sealed bids to purchase the scales at the landfill.

“We got two responses, a lot lower than at least what I expected,” he said. “One was for $2,500 and the other was $3,200. That seems awful low to me. The Sanitation and Landfill Committee has asked me to research and find the fair market value for those things, to see whether we’re mistaken in our expectations or if that’s what they’re really worth.”

– Also during the meeting, Chief Tom Meader of the Elkins Volunteer Fire Department said the department’s Federal Emergency Management Agency damage report for Superstorm Sandy will result in the city’s receiving “around $8,100 back.”

“At least we’re going to get some money back, and that should help us a lot,” Meader said.

– Council approved purchase of a hot water pressure washer by the Street Department. The price of the device was $6,449.44.