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Madison County: Landfill expansion moves forward

The Madison County Department of Solid Waste and Recycling will move forward with phase three of its expansion of the Westside sanitary landfill project. The construction is expected to cost as much as $4 million.

Supervisor Michel DeBottis (Oneida Wards 1, 2 and 3), who chairs the county board of supervisors' solid waste and recycling committee, said the project will be funded with money put aside in a landfill reserve account. Former Treasurer Harold Landers reported at numerous committee meetings that having to bond the project would add about 30 percent to its cost.

Engineer Kevin Voorhees said at the March 2 solid waste and recycling committee meeting that he was slightly concerned that it had taken the county so long to receive a letter from the state Department of Environmental Conservation regarding any questions they had about the project.

"There are 53 comments in the DEC's letter, and we delivered our responses March 1," Voorhees said.

According to Voorhees, the county's response letter laid out the proposed timeline and explained the county is going forward with preparations to bid the project.

"We want to have the permit in hand before we award bids," Voorhees said. "We told them we would meet with them as often as they need."

Voorhees said the bid process is a little behind schedule, and the county needs to move now to ensure the available of construction crews and to keep costs down. The committee wants a bid deadline that will allow the board of supervisors to award bids at its May meeting.

"It should be a problem, but it shouldn't have taken this long to get the original letter [from the DEC]," Voorhees said.

DeBottis said it has taken seven years and two months to advance the project to its current stage.

At a committee of the whole meeting called by the solid waste committee and held immediately preceding the March 13 board of supervisors meeting, DeBottis and Voorhees reviewed the process the department has undergone to plan for the waste disposal needs for the county for the next 100 years.

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