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New cell at county landfill nearly complete

Chautauqua County is in the process of opening its newest cell at the landfill in Ellery.

During the legislature’s Public Facilities Committee meeting, Brad Bentley, director of public facilities, gave an update on the landfill.

According to Bentley, the work at the cell is nearly complete. Right now they’re waiting for the state Department of Environmental Conservation to give its certification. Bentley hopes that will happen in the coming months. In an email to the OBSERVER after the meeting, he noted that it’s up to the DEC when the certification is awarded.

“The DEC has been given all of the required reports and paperwork, so it’ll depend how long they take to review everything. Throughout the project the DEC has been on-site reviewing our progress allowing the county to answer questions as construction progressed, so there is a good familiarity with the project at the DEC. I am hopeful that we will be able to receive the certification in the coming months, but it is up to the DEC on when they feel everything is in order,” he said.

Bentley also requested an additional $1 million for the project. The money would be used to install a new road and also pay for required wetland mitigation.

Bentley hopes to do a lot of the road construction in-house, which would lower their costs, but he said he needs to stay on top of the county’s road and bridge program as well, so he doesn’t know yet how much staffing he will have available.

Legislator Jay Gould, R-Ashville, asked why the road wasn’t paved to begin with when they first proposed the new cell. Bentley, who wasn’t the public facilities director when the project was first proposed, wasn’t sure.

“We need that paved. It was never part of the final budget. It was never part of the engineering, never part of the plans to have that paved but obviously we need to have that paved for dust and mud control,” he said.

The new road will be primarily used by haulers and will not be used by the public. By July, Bentley hopes to have the new road paved and operational.

After the road is complete, an analysis will be done to see what impact the cost will have on the landfill’s budget. The landfill is funded by user fees and does not impact the general fund. Once the analysis is done, Bentley said they’ll have a better idea if fees need to be raised or not. “We want to communicate with our customers any increase way in advance, because we understand the impact to them,” he said.

The resolution to authorize the $1 million was approved by the Public Facilities Committee. It needs final approval by the full legislature next week.

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