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Council directs staff to consider life-extending options for landfill

With an eye toward the future, the City Council directed staff during Tuesday night’s council meeting to look into options to extend the life of the city’s landfill or establishing a new one.

The discussion dominated the meeting as council members expressed their desire to serve as guardians for the city’s future and ensure they take the best approach financially.

“We are supportive of expansion of the landfill but we need more answers,” Mayor Roger Tobler said.

After hearing a proposal by Public Works Director Scott Hansen to expand the height of the existing landfill by 80 feet, which would add seven to 11 years to its lifespan, council members requested more details about how the landfill is being affected by recycling efforts.

“The level of recycling has skyrocketed, it’s practically double,” Councilman Duncan McCoy said. “Did this figure into the account of the lifespan of the landfill?”

The council also asked for better calculations about how much life would be added to the landfill by expanding the height in increments of 10 feet or if the overall footprint could be increased horizontally.

Additionally, the council asked for alternative solutions for eliminating the city’s waste, including the cost of creating another landfill or shipping trash to a landfill such as the one in Apex as well as the cost for the various scenarios.

Hansen said he anticipates it will cost $100,000 to $300,000 to go through the permitting process with the Southern Nevada Health District just to request the 80-foot vertical expansion.

He said there had been some difficulty in the past dealing with the health district’s mandates and permitting process for the landfill, especially in regard to horizontal expansion of the facility’s footprint.

Councilman Rod Woodbury, who also serves as chairman of the Southern Nevada Health District’s board, said he believes changes at the board and staff levels will make the district more amenable to the city’s requests.

Robert Martello, general manager of Boulder City Disposal Inc., cautioned the council about the costs involved in expanding horizontally or creating another landfill. He said liners are federally mandated for disposal sites created after 1993, which adds approximately $200,000 per acre to the cost of creating a landfill.

He also said the city has a landfill cell of 11 acres that hasn’t been touched and he doesn’t anticipate needing to use it for another four or five years, giving the council ample time to carefully consider its options.

“It’s easy to say this is not urgent, but if we keep kicking the can down the road, we are not being responsible as a council,” Woodbury said. “We have to plan for it.”

In other actions:

n Tabled Resolution 6141 that called for the purchase and installation of new BMX equipment at Veterans Memorial Park.

n Approved a resolution to replace aging and failing plastic water lines with copper service lines, awarding the $114,000 contract to Urban Jungles Contractors. The affected waterlines are on Becky, Sherri and Shirley lanes, Fairway, Marita and Sandra drives and Nadine Way.

n Approved a resolution for an agreement between the city and VC3/Net 4 to manage information technology services at a cost of $15,320 per month for 15 months.

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