Landfill expansion

Hartselle landfill expansion moves forward

Charley Gaines

Hartselle Enquirer

 

Hartselle Police Chief Ron Puckett, two men from Public Works and city residents met in Hartselle’s City Hall auditorium for the monthly city council meeting Tues., July 12 , at 7 p.m.

The council meeting lasted about 20 minutes, but two major topics were addressed during that time.

Newly appointed Public Works Director Tommy Halbrooks and Public Works Supervisor David VanKoughnett updated Council members and present residents on Hartselle’s landfill as it runs out of room for specific waste products. The Public Works department requested signatures and a public hearing to keep momentum going as they expand the landfill. They also informed Council they need about $90,000 for stream credits for the next step in the process.

“We’re going to pipe the stream,” said VanKoughnett. He explained their mission is to literally put a concrete pipe around the existing stream on the new land so the water flows through with, what the department hopes, is the smallest disruption to the environment and Hartselle residents. The extra room created after the stream is covered will allow Hartselle residents to keep free trash disposal for items held in the landfill instead of having it hauled at a price to the Morgan County Regional Landfill.

The Public Works department has already gotten cost estimates along with most of the studies and logistics mapped out for the area, etc., after at least a couple of years of unexecuted plans to try and extend the landfill’s life expectancy.

“We have to send our plans to the Corp of Engineers, and as we do that, we know we’re going to have to by 255 stream credits. The high cost of stream credits right now puts that at $90,000.”

“We’re going to be piping 260 feet of the stream that runs in that area,” VanKoughnett told the Council Tuesday. “The cost on that right now is around $13,500. That’s the definite cost of this project that we’re looking at today.” That area, he explained, would give them about 10 more years of usable space.

If and/or when the Corp of Engineers gives the approval on the plans to make adjustments on the city’s land, the Public Works department will move forward with public approval on the project. The Alabama Department of Environmental Management requires them to place an advertisement in the paper, hold a public hearing about 30 to 45 days after they give the approval and an approval of resolution by the city council. After Hartselle residents and city council give their approval, Public Works has to have a statement of consistency with Alabama Department of Environmental Management for Governments before they can get their revised permit from ADEM plus $4,375 the office requires for fees. VanKoughnett predicts there won’t be much debate with the agencies. He said the landfill should be ready next Spring if all goes as planned.

After the meeting, the Public Works supervisor said, “The most important thing people need to understand is that we’re not moving off our property,” VanKoughnett emphasized. “The landfill isn’t expanding anywhere out into the city. We’re just going to try to open up a little hole on our property to give us the last little space we have.”

The council also briefly discussed a budget transfer for Hartselle PD at the City Council meeting. Chief Puckett said that approval was to move money from one area of their expenses to another. In this case, he said the department needs more money for building and grounds to get them through the year. The police department also requested updated job descriptions for officers. Puckett said since jail and dispatch duties aren’t a part of their officers’ current jobs, they just needed to get rid of those parts of the local description.

At the end of the meeting, Hartselle City Council members offered their support to the police department as the United States faces turmoil revolving around the public upset surrounding officers. Several Council members offered the city’s gratitude and support as they said they continue protecting Hartselle and risking their lives to do so.

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