Three years left in current landfill cells
Engineers examined the Pocahontas County landfill recently and calculated that operational cells will be filled in 37 months.
Potesta and Associates, Inc., prepared the SWA's annual report, which includes an estimate of the useful life of the landfill. The report is required by law and will be submitted to the state Solid Waste Management Board.
The Pocahontas County Solid Waste Authority (SWA) board reviewed and approved the report during its regular meeting at the county courthouse on January 31 .
The report indicated that operational cells 3A and 3B have 32,350 cubic yards of space remaining, which will be filled in 37 months at the current rates of deposition and compaction.
A new cell, yet to be constructed, is available at the current landfill location. Cell 3C will cover 1.1 acres and provide an additional 94,500 cubic yards of space. At current rates, Cell 3C would provide almost nine years of serviceable life after cells 3A and 3B are filled. Cell 3C is the final cell available at the current landfill location.
The board voted 4-0 to approve the report. Board member Buster Varner was not present.
The board discussed a recent letter in The Pocahontas Times from a part-time resident, who complained that the $95 yearly green box fee is unfair for property owners who spend little time in the county.
Board member Doug Bernier said he would like the SWA to explore ideas to reduce the fee for part-time residents.
"This authority, at some point in time, should consider the fact that folks like this, that have second homes and don't make use of the system are paying more than their fair share," said Bernier. "I don't know what the solution is, but I'm sure there are a lot of people in a similar situation and feel the same way this woman does."
Board vice-chairman Jim Burks concurred.
"The part-time residents and the folks who use our facilities here on a short-term basis should not have to pay the same price as those of us who live here full-time," he said.
Board chairman Ed Riley said the SWA had attempted a policy, under which part-time residents signed a statement, swearing they did not use the green boxes and promising they would dispose of their trash out-of-county.
"On Friday we waived somebody's bill," the chairman said. "On Monday morning - here comes the game warden: 'Hey- I found this garbage down over the hill and I want to know if these people are paying for garbage services.' We said 'no' because we waived it and they said they took it all home. All they had done was go up Laurel Run Road and throw it over the bank -- and we haven't waived it since."
The board took no action on the green box fee for part-time residents.
SWA office manager Mary Clendenin reported that Pocahontas County High School freshman Elizabeth Kelly won the state Recycling Coalition poster contest for grades 9-12.
Kelly's poster was selected from more than 5,000 entries and will be used to encourage recycling throughout the state. Kelly will receive a $150 cash prize and her class will receive a $250 gift card for the purchase of art supplies. A PCHS student has won the poster contest in two out of the last three years.
See next week's edition for an article on Kelly and her award winning poster.
During the public comment period, Matt Tate, of Mill Point, asked the board to consider the possibility of methane gas recovery for energy production and reduction of greenhouse gases.
Riley informed Tate that an organization had evaluated the county landfill and concluded it is too small for methane collection.
On Tuesday, Clendenin confirmed that Brent Bailey, Appalachian Program Director with the Mountain Institute, had performed the evaluation and reported that the landfill lacks sufficient volume to be viable for methane recovery.
In other business, the SWA board:
-- approved the financial statement for December, which indicated $35,447 in income and $100,445 in outlays for the month. $23,447 of the income was derived from tipping fees and $9,720 from green box fees. Administrative costs, including salaries, comprised $37,566 of the outlays, along with $67,879 in landfill expenses. Maintenance on the sand filters greatly increased the landfill expenditures for the month.
-- voted 4-0 to purchase a steel conex container from K and K International for $3,500, to be used for storage of electronic recyclables.
-- conducted the annual election of officers. Riley was elected chairman; Burks, vice-chairman and Clendenin, secretary/treasurer. All votes were 5-0 with Varner voting via speakerphone.
The next regular SWA meeting is scheduled for February 23, 7 p.m. at the courthouse.