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Granada Trustees Approve Increased Landfill Fees

 

Several revenue projections were discussed before the Granada Trustees arrived at a fee increase for use of the landfill during their monthly meeting, September 13th.   One trustee was absent from the meeting but it was a unanimous vote to raise the monthly fee to $15 from the previous $4 paid by an estimated 240 households in the community.  Based on those figures, the Town of Granada was receiving $11,520 a year to run the landfill at the $4 rate.  The new fee, at $15, will increase revenues to $43,200.  The increase will help defray expenses associated with the future course of action the Trustees will take with the landfill, whether it remains open or is permanently closed.  The Trustees expressed hope the action would also gain some time with the state before an October 1st deadline at which time the community could be financially sanctioned for landfill operation violations.

The landfill and the state health department mandate to fix it or close it, took up most of the discussion at the monthly meeting. Mayor Glenn Otto discussed some new options that have been made available by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.  They are mostly cost figures which will come into play should the landfill remain open or closed.  The Trustees looked at one option which would use the commercial services of DW Waste Management, owned and operated from Lamar by Joel Woelk.  At present, Granada residents are responsible for their own trash delivery to the landfill.  DW Waste Management offers different capacity bins and related costs for the pick-up and dumping service.  He explained, “The usual price for a three cubic yard bin is $60 a month based on current landfill prices and we make a pick-up every two weeks.”  Woelk’s operation uses the Lamar landfill for service in Prowers County and the Kiowa landfill for Eads residents and his operation is subject to their dumping fees.

The Trustees discussed the possibility of using several larger dumpsters which would serve a block or group of households. Woelk estimated it would take between 25 to 35 dumpsters to accommodate the town.  Narrow alleyways would present a navigation problem for the trash truck and Woelk said the trash would always have to be inside them, not placed off to the side if they were full.  There was also the NIMBY factor, Not In My Back Yard, as to where they could be centrally placed.  Woelk said it would be easier for him if most of the dumpsters were grouped along a roadway.  If residents opted for the service, that still leaves the problem of the financial cost of closing the dump per state regulations.

Mayor Otto explained some of the state’s proposals, “Once the landfill is closed it stays closed and there won’t be any new ones.” Two options proposed by the state were reviewed; one would allow the state, at its own costs,  to drill ground-water monitoring wells around the landfill site, survey the wells, measure groundwater parameters and depths and collect samples for testing and manage the landfill for impacted Investigation-Derived Wastes for proper disposal by the CDPHE.  The first proposal leaves the landfill open and under operation by the town.  The other allows the state to close the wells, also at its own costs.  This would include a pre-construction survey of the property, take steps to adequately cover the landfill, prepare a closure plan, which would lead to shutting down the landfill in Granada.   The town would assume future costs of maintenance, and would still be left with the problem of local trash collection and disposal.

Otto added that the smaller communities around the state are working with their county commissioners to enact legislation next year that would have the CDPHE step back from rural landfill administration and let local, site-specific landfills be regulated by the community or the county. There is no guarantee that will happen.

Granada residents will be notified through the town that a community-wide, town meeting has been set for the complex for Wednesday, September 27th at 6:30 to discuss the available options.

By Russ Baldwin

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