Forty acres of land have been cleared and 630,000 cubic yards of earth is being excavated to create a huge nine-acre hole for a new waste disposal cell at the Central Peninsula Landfill, part of a multiphase project to extend the useful life of the borough's prime solid waste facility.
Borough voters last year approved the sale of up to $12 million in general obligation bonds to pay for planning, designing and building two new landfill cells that will be used over at least the next decade. The landfill serves about three out of four peninsula residents and is being expanded to meet long-term demand for disposal services.
The expansion project also is required by state and federal regulations.
Earlier this year, the borough sold the first set of bonds totaling $7.04 million, money it is now using to build the first cell.
CIC Inc. of Soldotna was the low bidder for the clearing and excavating job, winning the project with a bid of around $852,000. Work began in late July with clearing and progressed into major excavation during the first week of August.
Borough Project Manager Mike Thomp-son said CIC is progressing faster than expected, and the digging is already nearly complete.
"We will be done with the first phase by the end of October," Thompson predicted.
CIC Inc. of Soldotna was the low bidder for the expansion project. The project is moving faster than expected, said Kenai Peninsula Borough Project Manager Mike Thompson.
Photo by Joseph Robertia
The actual footprint of the cell is about nine acres, he said. The 630,000 cubic yards of dirt is being stockpiled on the remaining cleared area for use on the landfill at a later time.
Meanwhile, Thompson and CIC president and owner Dean Robinson are planning a way to keep the large hole in the earth from collecting a lake of water over the winter.
"Our goal, before winter, is we are going to develop our own drainage plan so that a lot of runoff won't pond up in the hole," Thompson said. "Before we leave it for the winter, we'll do some grading."
Currently, about a dozen workers are em-ployed by CIC, Thompson said.
The next phase of improvements will include installing a liner and establishing leachate systems. That job will be bid during the spring of 2004.
Thompson was hired earlier this year to manage the project for the borough. While constructing a hole for garbage may not have a appealing ring to it, the job has some interesting and challenging elements, he said.
"It's really quite involved," he said. "It's got major excavation, and everything from liners to pumps to piping, roads a little bit of everything."
It is expected that a second bond sale to raise funds for construction of the second cell will be held around 2008.
The borough continues to seek state and federal grant money for the project, and recently, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly voted to name the landfill project its No. 1 state-funding priority in an effort to improve its chances at getting the $2.24 million it has requested from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation's matching grant program.
In its competitive grant application process, the department gives 50 additional points to projects rated by their respective municipalities as top capital priorities, according to borough officials.
In August, borough Solid Waste Director Catherine Mayer told the assembly the DEC matching grant program had seen substantial reductions in the past year, but added, "It is anticipated that upcoming scoring should be high for this project and if funding is available, we should be eligible for at least a portion of the requested amount."
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