Holly Trustees Meet with Commissioners on Landfill Issues



The Prowers County Commissioners invited the Holly Trustees to their meeting with a senior advisor from Governor’s Hickenlooper’s office on September 26th to voice their concerns regarding landfill rules and regulations.

Commissioner Wendy Buxton-Andrade told the Trustees during their September 6th meeting, that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is pushing for the development of regionalized landfills in rural areas of the state.  She explained that the Prowers Commissioners and members of the Colorado Counties Incorporated are attempting to draft legislation that would allow more local control over landfill sites in smaller communities such as Holly and Granada.

As has been reported before, the major problems stem from the cost of adhering to the CDPHE regulations to manage landfills and maintain landfill sites. Holly charges $28 a month for landfill service which includes trash pick-ups.  Granada charges $4 per residence, but that is only for the use of the landfill by town locals as there is no trash pickup.  Residents dump their trash at the landfill on their own.

Holly is now in compliance with the CDPHE and the Trustees appear more apt to allow business to continue as usual as closing the landfill would be costly and two monitoring wells would have to be installed at the landfill site and the readings would need to be periodically reported to the state. Buxton-Andrade said grants are available for communities, at approximately $75,000 per well.  She mentioned that some towns in the state have been trying to close their landfills for several years with no success.  Commissioner Ron Cook stated that closing the landfills removes a town from the costs associated with running an operation, but there’s still the problem of what to do with the trash and costs of shutting one down.  “We estimate there are four illegal dump sites around north Prowers County right now and one of them is huge,” he stated.

Lamar has been mentioned as a potential regional landfill site; given its proximity to Holly, Granada and Wiley, but the cost of dumping a cubic yard of material in Lamar’s landfill is $39.95 and that’s Lamar’s break-even cost, still, a significant increase for the other towns, not including the cost of hauling the trash.

In other action, the Trustees tabled action for any transfer of funds in the town’s accounts, pending additional discussions by the finance committee. Josh Reinert stepped down from the Finance Committee due to work schedule limitations and Jacob Holdren, on a split vote, was installed to take his place.  Trying to find a schedule to speak with representatives from NMPP and Mid-States Energy Works has been an on-going problem.  The Trustees decided to seek other similar operations for a cost comparison of services, preferably before the town’s preliminary budget draft is due in October.

By Russ Baldwin

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