The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday June 6th

BOCC to decide landfill’s future tonight

Commissioners also to debate sales tax

David Caldwell can’t be shocked anymore by the county’s decisions about the landfill near his neighborhood on Rogers Road.

“I am not surprised, just a little frustrated,” said Caldwell, project director for the Rogers-Eubanks Neighborhood Association.

“We have been given a date, and they always find a reason to change it.”

Orange County Commissioners are scheduled to decide tonight whether it will close the landfill in 2012 as scheduled or extend its life to as late as 2018 with one of three options presented to the board in a memo in March.

“We found technological ways to squeeze more juice out of the pulp,” Commissioner Barry Jacobs said.

The options were prepared by HDR Engineering, an engineering and consulting firm, and the Solid Waste Management Department, said Assistant County Manager Gwen Harvey.

All three extension options include an increase in the revenue the landfill generates, Harvey said.

County Manager Frank Clifton and the solid waste department have recommended the second option, which would extend the landfill’s life to 2017.

To do this, the capacity would be increased by more than 10 percent, which would require a public process by the state.

“The extended time period will provide revenue for the county to ensure adequate funding for closure and post-closure monitoring of the landfill,” vice chairman of the board Steve Yuhasz wrote in an email.

But the county has identified several disadvantages to the plan. It would slightly increase the landfill height and would require renewing the construction permit.

The extension would also keep the landfill operating in the historically black, low-income neighborhood where it has been since 1972.

“For me, it’s not only about what the best option is, but what can we do for the Rogers Road neighborhood,” said chairwoman of the board Bernadette Pelissier.

Caldwell said the neighborhood association will have representatives at the meeting but has not discussed what it would do if the lifetime is extended.

“They should have closed it when they said they were going to close it,” he said.

Public hearings concerning the proposed quarter-cent sales tax and the adoption of an unified development ordinance will also be held at the meeting.

The sales tax increase is being re-introduced to the public after voters rejected the referendum in November.

“I think the board will go ahead and do it, put it on the ballot,” Jacobs said. “That does not necessarily mean we’re going to enact it. It has to be voted upon.”

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