Boundaries for Possible Landfill Purchase Appear Close to Resolution

The Pocahontas County Solid Waste Authority’s 2023 Annual report -released in January, estimated that the current county landfill has 2.7 years of useful life left in it. Now the Solid Waste Authority is planning for the future of solid waste disposal in the county after the landfill closes. They have been negotiating a purchase deal with current owner of the land the landfill is on. They have been leasing the landfill property.

Currently, after the landfill is closed, they are considering possibly placing a transfer station at the site which would be where the county’s solid waste is collected then trucked out to landfills in other counties. They would also continue to operate their tire and white goods recycling at the closed landfill site.

One problem they have been wrestling with concerning the potential purchase of the landfill property has been determining the exact boundaries for the property. The owner of the landfill property has several areas on the currently leased property which she does not want to include in any sale, including a road used for her farm operations.

The County Commission had a survey of the property completed, but when authority member (and County Commissioner) Jamie Walker recently walked the property with Chris McComb, the Landfill Manager, they were unable to find some of the survey stakes and could not find one of the corners as were indicated on the copy of the plat they had.

Concerned by this, Walker explained at the February 28th solid Waste Authority meeting that he also suspected that plat also might not include the required 100-foot setback from the property line to the landfill’s disposal cells. He said he contacted the surveyor about his concerns, and was told it would be checked into. Walker said he has not heard back from the surveyor,

Jacob Meck brought a different plat from the surveyor to the meeting. That one shows slightly different set-backs and corners. Walker said this new plat might reflect corrections to it made after his conversation with the surveyor. If that is so, it appears to resolve his concerns. However, Walker still wants to make sure this is the corrected and final plat, and that it includes all the required 100-foot set-backs.

Chairman Ed Riley said he still has concerns about who will be responsible for maintaining the fences along the entrance road after the purchase.

Member David McLaughlin wanted to know if the County Commission purchases the landfill, who will own it -the Commission or the Solid Waste authority?

It was pointed out that establishing a transfer station will be expensive, with a start-up cost of 1.6 million dollars, building a shop will cost $300,000 and adding a new fence will cost $36,000. Additionally, there will be annual expenses estimated to be about $73,000.

Mary Clendenen said the County Commission needs to understand that the funding sources the authority has been relying on will not cover these one-time and on-going annual operation costs unless there is a long-term financial support commitment by the commission. She pointed out that the commission does have the ultimate responsibility to ensure that the county has reliable solid waste disposal.

These issues will be on the agenda for discussion at the County Commission’s March 5th morning meeting.

Also at the meeting, they discussed the state requirement that people disposing of demolition materials at the landfill must provide a negative asbestos inspection. Questions were raised about whether that only applies to industrial demolitions, or also to residents who are doing remodeling at their homes, Notices about the asbestos inspection requirements have been   already sent out to industrial demolition companies. It was decided that public notices about the asbestos inspection requirements should not be sent to the Pocahontas Times for publication since there are already signs forbidding disposal of hazardous materials at the landfill

Regarding the financial report, Mary Clendenen said they lost $18,639 in January, but that was an operational loss, not due to any unusual expenses.

The members also approved a bid by Farley Drilling, Inc. of Pineville, WV to drill a water monitoring well which meets all state requirements for $1450.00.

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

Current Weather