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Commisioners cover landfill cost

November 21, 2000

Commisioners cover landfill cost



By SCOTT BUTKI / Staff Writer


The Washington County Commissioners have approved a budget transfer to cover the increased cost of a maintenance building at the Forty West Landfill.

The $225,000 will be transferred from solid waste revenue surpluses.

The project was previously budgeted at $375,000, but Public Works Director Gary Rohrer said in September the estimate had been revised to $500,000.

The contract to design and build the 12,000-square-foot maintenance building was awarded Nov. 14 to GRC General Contractors Inc. of Zullinger Pa., for a low bid of $548,997.

The building includes restrooms, a lunch room, machine shop, storage areas and an office for service work.

The 425-acre, $13.6 million Forty West Landfill is scheduled to open in mid-December. The Resh Sanitary Landfill is full.

The property, in a bend of the Conococheague Creek near Resh, is accessible from U.S. 40.

If there are no major weather problems, the maintenance building should be completed by May 2001, said Chief Engineer Terry McGee. The landfill will operate for a few months without a maintenance building on the site, he said.

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Originally, $450,000 was budgeted as a total cost of both the maintenance and office buildings.

Rohrer said he now thinks the cost of the 12,000-square-foot office building will increase from $75,000 to $250,000.

The commissioners agreed to raise the budget estimate to $250,000, using reserves from the Capital Improvement Program to pay the additional costs.

Earlier estimates were unrealistic due to several factors, including increased cost as a result of the significant demand on builders, Rohrer said.

Rohrer said the cost estimate for the office building has been lowered to $250,000 while the shop building cost has remained at about $500,000.

An earlier plan called for renovating an existing house into the office building but it was decided that since the landfill has an estimated life of about 80 years, a new structure should be built, Solid Waste Director Bob Davenport said.

Other alternatives, including keeping the office at the Resh Sanitary Landfill, moving a portable building from Resh to Forty West Landfill or moving into the offices at the Water and Sewer Department, were considered. Davenport said those alternatives were not reasonable.

"It is difficult to stay informed when you are off-site," he said.

Commissioner William Wivell said he would have liked the county to try using an off-site location for at least one year, but he was out-voted 4-1 at the Nov. 14 meeting.

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