State Recommends Improvements at Holly Landfill

The Holly landfill has been hit with 10 deficiencies, and has been given from 90 to 180 days to respond with specific suggestions for improvements or to make the corrections. Town administrator, Marsha Willhite, briefed the town board on the findings which resulted from an October inspection last year.  Willhite stated, “The survey was done in October, we’ve just received the report in late May, and the state wants results in 90 days in some cases.”  Willhite commented on the state’s lack of timeliness, explaining she had even submitted an updated Design and Operations Plan to the state in 2009 regarding one of the noted deficiencies, but added, she never received a response from the state on the updated plan, but the lack of an updated plan was listed as one of the ten deficiencies.

Other deficiencies include: posted signage on allowable materials, the town needs an open air burn permit; only ‘clean’ types of wood may be burned; large tree limbs and trunks should not be allowed to smolder;  specific files should be kept regarding dumping of petroleum contaminated soil; tires must be shredded and not deposited whole, or residents must file a form showing they attempted to find an acceptable dump site before using Holly’s landfill; documentation showing  landfill staff has been trained for correct procedures; lack of a groundwater monitoring system although Willhite said the landfill received a waiver due to it’s natural protective base; the state needs to be informed when a landfill cell has been closed following health regulations; large piles of rubble and concrete can act as vermin breeding areas and needs to be reduced in size.  The administrator noted that complete compliance, “Will put a big dent in our town budget.”  The town will also need to show it has sufficient ‘financial assurances’ to perform the upgrades and maintain the landfill. Willhite noted that the landfill still contains tons of debris from the tornado from four years ago and the high school construction project will also generate a considerable amount of refuse once it’s underway.  The state ruled that construction and demolition materials were not acceptable refuse.

The town has plans to develop a portion of the landfill to accept friable asbestos, especially with the school demolition project nearing.  Requirements specify a new pod for the material should be developed, and Willhite noted the CDPHE will support the town’s efforts on the project.  Site maps will be developed and a public comment period will be available on the project.  Willhite said with the board’s approval, she’ll visit the Lamar facility and personnel to view its operation, conduct a cost analysis on the state’s recommendations and review the finances for the friable asbestos concept.

Joe Marble and Gene Millbrand, two of the Prowers County Commissioners attended Monday evening’s meeting and offered to assist Holly with a letter of support to the state in their clean up efforts.  Millbrand suggested contacting DoLA, Department of Local Affairs for financial support to bring the landfill into compliance.  He said the department might be able to contribute up to half the cost, but early contact with DoLA would be necessary.  Both commissioners commiserated with Holly’s predicament, declaring last year’s fly ash dumping problems at the Lamar landfill was an event they’d rather not repeat.  Marble and Millbrand stated that the cost of asbestos disposal has been a major obstacle to residential and business development in the county.

Vance Brian presented the Crew Report, stating the municipal pool has been cleaned and filled; voltage transformers were changed at JR’s Country Store; a plug-in was installed at the west ball park storage unit, the lot behind the Nazarene Church was cleaned; the electric line extension on 11th Street was completed.  One pole had seven customer’s wiring attached and has now been split off.  The sewer line extension along 11th Street was also completed which will facilitate future hook-ups; the stools in the Gateway Park restrooms have been replaces, as well as replacement of all piping, and the holes in the restroom floor have been repaired.  Willhite suggested to the board that with Brian’s approaching retirement, advertising for his replacement should start shortly.

Willhite provided a brief financial review for the board, stating an 11.5% increase in kilowatt per hour power sales over last year.  She attributed the increase mostly to power used for well pumping at the bridge project south of town and usage from the new motel recently built in Holly.  Willhite commented that figures show a steady, year to year increase in sales tax revenue since the tornado four years ago.

In other action, the board authorized Willhite to send a letter to the Buffalo Mutual Irrigation Company, stating there was no public interest in bidding for the lease of 14.3 town owned shares in the company.  The town attorney, Darla Scranton Specht, will be contacted for guidance regarding the dissolution of property owned by NexHorizon of Colorado.  The cable company declared bankruptcy two years ago, and still has discarded cable wiring strung throughout the city.  The maintenance contract for handheld, computerized meter readers with Finish Line Systems was approved, and eleven summer employees, including two managers and nine guards, were hired for the swimming pool.  The board received several letters of thanks from members of the Nazarene Church for the city’s clean up job on church property, and the board suggested letters of appreciation be sent to those businesses and organizations that have contributed to Holly becoming a better looking town.  Just before the board went into executive session, a suggestion was made to spray the weeds at the local airport.

By Russ Baldwin


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