County buys land for dump - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

County buys land for dump

New facility will be near Worley site

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Posted: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 12:00 am

They asked, and the Solid Waste Department provided.

In response to hundreds rallying against Kootenai County's plans to close the 20-year-old Worley dump site and have users drive to a more distant facility, the county purchased Worley acreage this week where a new collection site will open when the original shuts down.

"The people who lived down there were not happy with our proposal originally, and they made it loud and clear to us what they wanted," said Solid Waste Director Roger Saterfiel. "I've always said I work for the people. If they're willing to foot the bill, we'll do what they want."

The new site will be safer and cleaner than the current one, Saterfiel said.

More important: It's not far.

"People will only have to drive 100 yards further than they're driving now," he assured.

County officials declined to divulge the cost of the 2.5 acres off Cave Bay Road, or the seller, as the earnest money agreement is still contingent on the city of Worley approving a zoning change for the property to be used for garbage collection.

Saterfiel predicted the hearing process would last through late July.

"I'm hoping (to open the new site) sometime in September," he said.

The land purchase was spurred by outcry from rural subdivisions when the county announced plans to close the Cave Bay Road dump site on account of illegal dumping and polluting.

As Worley's rural fringe doesn't have trash pickup, residents said their drives to dump trash would be lengthened by 40 minutes to reach the next closest site on Sun Up Bay Road.

Hundreds attended a county meeting on the issue last December, after which the county receive a tip on the land for sale on Cave Bay Road.

"It was just dumb luck," Saterfiel said, adding the county was long in negotiations over the property price.

County Commissioner Rick Currie hailed the new site as a much needed improvement, as its location far off the road will be safer than current facility.

"You're not parking in the middle of a roadway to get rid of your refuse," Currie said. "The picking up of refuse by our contractor will be much safer and not block traffic."

The new site also doesn't flood, which has been a problem with the Cave Bay Road site, Saterfiel said. And the county will have more control in owning the whole property, unlike the current facility that falls within the local highway district.

The site will start out with a few Dumpsters and a litter fence, Saterfiel said.

Recycling and staff might be added if demand in the region requires it.

Use of the dump site varies because of seasonal residents, he said. Collection ranges between 50 and 250 tons of waste a week.

Members of the Worley City Council couldn't be reached for comment on the new site.

Bill Swick, vice president of the Conkling Park Area Community Association that relies on the current dump site, said keeping a collection site nearby is important for convenience and safety.

"One is the burden of having to travel 40 miles round trip to dispose of solid waste. We were concerned about the burden for seniors, especially in the winter when the roads aren't very good," Swick said. "Another serious concern was some people might choose a poorer option and start throwing waste in ditches or down country roads."

Residents battled to keep a close dump site by meeting with elected officials, writing letters and calling for the public meeting, he said.

"If this all works out, we'd have to feel very good about the fact that we made a difference and the county commissioners and county officials listened to community concerns," he said.

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  • ancientemplar posted at 9:23 pm on Wed, May 12, 2010.

    ancientemplar Posts: 1268

    I for one want to see the appraisal and the negotiated contract price and terms. This is an election issue.

  • straight up posted at 6:56 am on Wed, May 12, 2010.

    straight up Posts: 963

    Good on the county for taking care of the needs of the people.

    But, what's up with not disclosing the purchase price of the property?

    Seems we have a right to see how much of our tax dollars were spent.

  • TakeBackTheUSA posted at 5:50 am on Wed, May 12, 2010.

    TakeBackTheUSA Posts: 765

    Hey, how about me? I've got about a one-way 20 minute drive to get to Cda to shop - don't I get the county to build a Safeway or Fred Meyer close by? It's terribly inconvenient. If Curry and Saterfiel are so quick to spend county tax money I want my share too. How soon before the county runs out of our money just so Currie can get reelected.

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