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Holly Trustees Discuss Landfill Location, ARPA Power Purchase Agreement

 

The monthly Holly Trustees meeting on Wednesday, May 2nd, hosted a full audience as several residents expressed concerns about a preliminary location for a proposed garbage transfer station near 4 River-John Deere in the community.  Due to costs associated with maintaining the current landfill, the Trustees have taken initial steps to close it in favor of developing a transfer station, hiring Gary Fuselier as a consultant on the landfill and transfer station development.

During the public comment period, Craig Schomaker of 4 Rivers said his corporation was opposed to the site which was a former sugar beet barn located to the rear of the business. Citing negative impact on commercial and residential land values if the station was located there, Schomaker also told the Trustees his corporation would not want to be annexed into the city over potential taxation issues.  The other site option on the table was to utilize the current landfill, which Fuselier explained, was acceptable to the state’s health and environment department.

He proposed a 60 by 60 foot building which would incorporate a trash compactor and installation of utilities needed to maintain the new operation. That general cost of the building was estimated at around $80,000.  The estimated cost of the entire project is not definite at this point, but Fuselier said $17,000 for the required preliminary engineering report would be needed, but before that happens, the Trustees need to apply for a USDA Search Grant to finance the engineering study.  A permit from the Prowers County Land Use Department is also a requirement for the project to move forward.  A general time frame of 1.5 years for the transition from landfill to transfer station was mentioned.

The Trustees approved two special meeting dates for discussion of the town’s Arkansas River Power Authority (ARPA) share of savings that should be derived from the pending acquisition of ARPA by Tri State G & T. David Willhite, President of ARPA and one of the two liaisons for Holly, explained what steps will be needed to take action on the proposed ordinance that has been presented to the Trustees.  “We have a short time to pass the ordinance,” he explained, adding that there will be the need for  a second reading, a presentation in the local paper and allow a month to elapse if passed.  He stated, “I’m requesting you set two special meetings, May 9th and May 22nd for these actions.  We should have a full ordinance and power purchase agreement finalized for your review and then if you choose to pass that at first reading and you’ll still have two weeks to analyze the completed power purchase agreement and pass on second reading.”

Willhite explained that five of the ARPA municipal members are being represented by one set of attorneys while Lamar has their own legal representation. He said, “We can also have the Trustee’s ARPA attorney, Philip Malouff review the agreement and offer his comments.”  Willlhite explained that Tri State G & T doesn’t want to negotiate with five separate communities, and prefers it be done as a group.  “Short term,” he said, “this is the best way to go.  By around 2030, I’m not so sure.  You’re tying your wagons to Tri State and their rates until 2050, so this is a big decision on your part.  Short term, the city will be paying a lot less for electricity.  You could put that into a reserve, but it’s your decision on how you want to do this.”  He explained that the bond insurer is putting up $2.25M to refund the bonds and their deadline is this July, so this has to move forward quickly.

Neil Fletcher addressed the Trustees, asking that if the Shanner Building were taken down, if the Trustees would allow the debris to be disposed of at the landfill. He explained that any associated costs would have to be incorporated into some of the bids he has received for the demolition project.  Fletcher said Gary Fuselier recommended an asbestos inspection report to begin with.  Without the inspection report and an answer from the Trustees, the building could be taken down, but all the refuse would be left on-site.  Fletcher said the response from the Trustees would help determine the costs of the project and the direction he would take.  The Trustees voted to allow the debris to be dumped at the landfill pending the results of the asbestos study, adding that they would come up with a cost estimate for Fletcher. Trustee Larry Sitts voted against using the landfill.

The Trustees voted to retain attorney Philip Malouff as the town’s new attorney, replacing Darla Scranton Specht in that capacity. One Trustee said he had been in contact with her and she had no problem with the arrangement, given her own busy schedule.  Mayor Garcia noted she had helped the community for quite some time with needed legal advice.

After considerable discussion, the Trustees were unable to come up with a workable solution to either revising or keeping the building numbering system along a portion of the storefront addresses on the eastern side of Main Street. There is a gap in the sequence of building numbers which necessitates either one business change its long-standing numeral address or a newer business create a hyphenated address to secure a location.  A point was made that numbering should be based on lots, not buildings on them, and any change made on the addresses should be through an ordinance and not a simple Trustee vote.

The Trustees announced two students, Nicholas Crum and Victoria Avalos as this year’s recipients of the Town of Holly and ARPA scholarship awards. Each will receive $500; one from the town and one from ARPA.

Swimming pool employees were approved for the new season including six lifeguards as well as a pool and assistant pool manager. The pool rates were increased by a half a dollar for general admission and swim lessons were increased by $5.

Holly Gateway Entertainment LLC received its Special Event Application for the car show and concert this fall and a public hearing was set for 6:45pm for June 6th for discussion of a Holly Fire and Ambulance District Liquor Permit.

The next meeting dates for the Holly Trustees will be May 9th, May 22nd and June 6th.

By Russ Baldwin

 

Filed Under: City of HollyConsumer IssuesEmploymentEnvironmentFeaturedPublic SafetyUtilities

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