Granada Closing Town Landfill



The Granada Trustees voted unanimously to allow the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to close the town’s landfill. The vote was taken during a special Trustees meeting held on Wednesday evening, September 27th.

The action closes a lengthy chapter of struggles on the part of the Trustees to find a balance between town finances and the regulations of the CDPHE pertaining to the operation of the landfill which has been out of compliance on several issues. Granada Mayor, Glenn Otto, stated, “We are looking at a $52,000 fine which has an October 1st deadline,” during the meeting which covered several final options for the community’s landfill operation.

Otto and several Trustees attended a meeting on Monday at the county courthouse which brought various southeast Colorado communities together to discuss the CDPHE regulations and the impact they have had on their towns. Granada was the only one facing a fine and little immediate advice came from the meeting that would help the town.  Earlier in the month, the Trustees voted to increase the monthly landfill fee from $4 to $15 although the increase falls short of the costs involved with bringing the landfill up to compliance.  The fee hike will be applied to future costs that will involve maintaining the landfill after it has been capped by the state.

The CDPHE had given the town two options; keep the landfill open and the state would pay for costs associated with installing several monitoring wells around the landfill, pay for reporting sampling results, sampling and analysis of the wells, date reporting and other well-related expenses. The town would still be required to pay for basic upkeep.  The Trustees decided to follow the second option which includes having the CDPHE pay for the costs for a re-construction survey, identify, characterize and quantify borrow-areas for dirt, prepare a site-specific closure plan and the actual closing and capping of the landfill from any future use.

Otto said that once the landfill is closed, Granada won’t be able to open another, but the town’s current tree dump will remain open and the town has the option of opening a transfer station. This allows residents to continue to dump their refuse which will be hauled to a final dump site, but there are expected costs to the handing and transportation of the refuse.  The Trustees met with Joel Woelk of DW Waste Management during their September 13th meeting and he provided some costs and options for using his firm to haul and dump the town’s trash.  Woelk uses the Lamar and La Junta landfills for his operation and pays a fee to each of the communities for their use.  There’s no immediate timetable as to when the Granada landfill will be closed and speculation runs into sometime next year when the state begins their construction efforts.

In other action, the Trustees, with regret, voted to accept the resignation of Martin Jensen from the board, effective September 30th.  Jensen has moved out of state.  He served on the board for ten years.  Town Clerk, Jackie Malone, said her office will accept letters of interest from qualified citizens.  The person selected will finish Martin’s term which expires in April and will hold the seat for the following four year term.  The Trustees also voted to purchase new street lights for the town at a cost of $10,000 which has been set aside in the budget.  Approximately 108 lights will be ordered and the new system is expected to lower electricity costs.  Approval was also given to Colmar to tear down the old laundromat.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of GranadaConsumer IssuesCountyEconomyFeaturedHealthHot TopicsPublic SafetyUtilities


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