The site of the former Columbia County landfill could still have a useful future if county officials decide to sell the land to developers.
The landfill off Baker Place Road closed to public in July 2006. Capping procedures, to comply with laws designed to prevent environmental consequences, have not yet begun, said Todd Glover, Columbia County Management Services Division director, at Tuesday's Management and Financial Services Committee meeting.
"We've just uncovered there may be, possibly, entities out there to purchase the landfill from us, close it, assume responsibility from us and possibly even develop the land in the future," Glover said.
At the meeting, Glover asked county officials for permission to put the land out for bid to gauge the level of interest in the 215-acre landfill property.
"It is just exploratory in nature," Glover said.
If the property is not sold, Glover said, the county is responsible for closure and post-closure procedures as well as monitoring the site for future decades, past the working careers of most current county employees.
If sold, the purchaser would take responsibility for capping and closing the landfill as well as liability for monitoring the site, taking all responsibility off the county. The bidding process would only be to solicit and evaluate offers.
"The good part about it is it doesn't lock us into anything," Glover said. "It provides us a lot of flexibility and if it works out, it could be very beneficial to the county."
Glover said the landfill itself takes up only about 76 acres of the site. He said potential buyers could develop the remaining land and use the 76 acres over the landfill for green space.
"It would be putting good use to property that has served a useful purpose," Glover said. "A well-planned development would certainly benefit the county."
The county already has funding, accumulated from gate fees, to permanently close the landfill. If the property is sold to someone taking responsibility for closing and monitoring, those funds could be used elsewhere in the county.
The Columbia County Commission will make a decision on whether to allow the solicitation of bids at its meeting Tuesday.
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