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Port City Seeks Firm To Analyze Landfill Site

OSWEGO, NY – At its meeting Monday night, the Common Council will consider a request to hire a professional soil testing firm to perform a stability analysis of the slopes at the Legends’ Softball Complex landfill site.

Mike Smith, DPW commissioner, requested city hire to confirm the site is in good condition and the city is correcting any problems.

CME Associates has submitted a proposal and is ready to perform the study, he told the Administrative Services Committee last week.

“The DEC is requiring us to do three things. The first, the fill material that was left un-graded, that issue has been taken care of,” Smith told the committee. “The second thing is right now the landfill has slopes that exceed the limits set by the DEC. And, thirdly, some fill material was placed within 50 feet of the (adjoining) property line, which is against DEC regulations and has to be moved.”

Smith met with a DEC representative in September of 2008 and received the letter with the requirement in the middle of November. The DEC set a Feb. 1, 2010, deadline for the city to comply, he noted.

The city responded in a timely matter, the commissioner said, adding it took time for people to get back to him.

“If we can hire someone to do the study for us, and the DEC accepts that as the final remediation of this then we don’t have to go to option No. 2, which is to go in there and physically re-grade all of the slopes and move material – which would be extremely costly. I can’t put an exact number on it, but it would be very labor-intensive,” he said.

He will come up with the money for the project out of his department’s 2010 operating budget, he said.

The cost to do the study and remediate the site as needed could cost around $6,000. That would be cheaper than if the DEC brought any fines against the city, he added.

“We are hoping that if we can get an analysis submitted to the DEC and they accept it, the landfill as is, because it apparently doesn’t pose any threat. It has started to reclaim itself,” Smith said. “But, we need somebody to say, ‘It is OK.’ If that is not acceptable to the DEC, then we’ll have to take a further step, which maybe hiring CME to do part ‘C’ of the project.”

Part ‘C’ would include an engineered slope design drawing, he explained. At which time, the city would have to go and do additional work at the site, he said.

The DEC wants the study done by Feb. 1. However, if the city retains a firm to do the study, the DEC might take that, and the winter weather into consideration, and allow the city more time.

“The landfill is not going to fail before Feb. 1. That’s just not going to happen,” Smith said. “If we show a good faith effort, I think that will be acceptable.”

The city stopped dumping there at least two years and a felt everything was OK then, Smith noted.

The full council will consider the request, along with 17 other resolutions, on Monday starting at 7:30 p.m.