Bristol board: Closing landfill will cost less

BRISTOL — Town Administrator Therese Kirby at a Holley Hall meeting on Monday evening gave the Bristol selectboard some promising news as the town tries to find funding to close the municipal landfill by the end of 2016.
Kirby said that in recent weeks the town has met with two separate manufacturers of a material used to cover landfills. Using material purchased from either of the firms, Omya and Resource Management Inc., would be substantially cheaper than covering the landfill with clay, as the town had initially planned to do.
Depending on the final price, Kirby said the town could expect to save $400,000 to $700,000 on landfill closure costs. Based on using a clay cover, the town estimates that price tag to be $1.5 million.
To date, the town has saved about $600,000 to put toward landfill closure.
Bristol has also asked the Agency of Natural Resources to shoulder part of that closure cost. In the past, the state maintained a fund specifically for landfill closures, but that fund dried up in the last decade after Shaftsbury was awarded the remaining $350,000.
Natural Resources Secretary David Mears, in a letter to the town last week, said he had no extra funds to spare from his budget, especially after Gov. Peter Shumlin asked state agencies to trim their spending earlier this year.
Kirby said the selectboard still holds out hope that the Legislature and Gov. Shumlin will make a special appropriation for the Bristol landfill in either of the next two General Fund budgets. Rep. David Sharpe, D-Bristol, has promised to bring up the issue when legislators returns to Montpelier in January.

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