Grant, loan allow landfill to grow

City officials are pleased with the news of the approval of a nearly $2.2 million grant and loan package that will enable an expansion of the regional landfill.

"We are pleased to have this sort of support," said City Manager John Prescott. "Any time we look at projects like this at the landfill they usually have a pretty good dollar figure attached to them, so the ability to either use the state's loan program or receive a grant makes it a lot easier to us."

The $2,161,210 package includes a $522,210 grant from the Solid Waste Management program and a $1,639,000 low-interest loan from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program.

"The regional landfill near Vermillion will soon reach capacity in its existing disposal cell," Gov. Dennis Daugaard said in a press release. "These funds will help Vermillion upgrade the regional landfill and provide capacity to continue to accept municipal waste."

"We were hoping to get this amount," said Solid Waste Director Bob Iverson. "This is what we asked for, and this is what we got."

The city began writing up its applications for the funding last year, Iverson said.

"We had a consultant firm, and then the staff from Vermillion worked on it, and we put it in last fall. Then we went to Pierre a week ago, and that's when we learned that we would be getting the amount that we were getting," he said.

The expansion will involve construction a six-acre solid-waste disposal cell, as well as a leachate collection system and a 1 million gallon leachate storage pond.

"'Leachate' is the juices that come off the garbage," Iverson explained.

As for the cell itself, "we're permitted to go about 50 feet deeper than … our other cells have gone," Iverson said. "We'll be digging about 400,000 cubic yards of dirt out of it. This will last probably eight, nine years."

Prescott said bids for the project will not be taken immediately.

"It depends on how quickly it gets filled or how quickly (the landfill) may be filled," he said. "Recently we started a process where we can go a little bit steeper in some of those slopes, which will give us a little more time in the space that we have."

Iverson said plans for the cell probably will be drawn up later this year, while the leachate plans may wait until next year.

"It's probably looking at doing plans now and having consulting firms look at it," he said. "We'll probably look at either 2013 or '14 to do the actual construction."

The estimated cost of the project is approximately $2.4 million. The loan terms are 3.24 percent interest for 30 years.

Prescott said the city ultimately would have been able to undertake the project if the grant/loan had not been approved, but "we'd have to come up with some way to create landfill space. It would have meant a shift in costs in terms of how would we have funded something like this."

The Solid Waste Management Program provides grants and loans for solid waste disposal, recycling and waste tire projects. The Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program provides low-interest loans for wastewater, storm sewer projects and nonpoint source projects which include certain activities at landfills.

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