CATSKILL — With the Hunter transfer station in crisis and the engineering team needing to redraw its plans, county lawmakers discussed their next move Tuesday night.
The county awarded a contract to Barton & Loguidice for a maximum amount of $163,700 in December. The engineering firm was tasked with redesigning the Hunter and Coxsackie transfer stations so they will be capable of exporting their own waste. In the past, these stations have had to send waste to Catskill before shipping. The engineers will also design a new scale house for the Catskill station.
Greene County Highway and Solid Waste Superintendent Robert J. Van Valkenburg informed the legislature that the aging scale at the Hunter station failed last week.
“The scale is not repairable,” VanValkenburg said of the scale, which is three decades old.
VanValkenburg said he did not believe it would make sense to purchase a used scale because the county was going to replace the scale anyway.
“We could purchase a new scale and install it in a temporary area,” Van Valkenburg said, adding that the endeavor would cost $75,000.
Another option is to purchase the new scale for the Catskill site and transfer Catskill’s scale to Hunter, Van Valkenburg said.
“Catskill’s scale is in good shape,” he said.
A concern with Hunter’s station being down is sending extra waste to Windham, which has a scale of similar age, Van Valkenburg said.
Hunter accepts about 3,000 tons per year, Windham about 2,200, Van Valkenburg said.
Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden agreed.
“We don’t want to overuse the Windham station and run the risk of failure there as well,” he said.
Groden said he would invoke an emergency declaration when the board decided what scale to order.
Once ordered, the scale would take about three weeks to arrive, Van Valkenburg said.
The transfer station project has had some stumbling blocks and is sending the engineering firm back to the drawing board.
“The lowest bidder [for the Catskill site] was $400,000 higher than the estimate,” Van Valkenburg said. “We rejected those bids because they were not economically feasible.”
Van Valkenburg then requested an updated estimate on the Hunter project from the Barton & Loguidice team.
“It was about $2 million and we were looking at $500,000,” Van Valkenburg said. “At that point I said we have to stop and look at where we’re going. This whole project is basically on life support.”
The designs Barton & Loguidice created would meet the county’s needs, but were not the most practical approach, Van Valkenburg said.
Van Valkenburg consulted with another architect to come up with a new plan.
The estimate on the new design for the Hunter station is $630,000, which is over budget but significantly less than the original design, Van Valkenburg said.
Legislator Michael Bulich, R-Catskill, asked if the county would continue to use Barton & Loguidice for the Catskill site for the remainder of the project.
“That has to be worked out,” Van Valkenburg said.
Because the firm has only billed for $107,000 of their $163,700 billable amount, more work needs to be done to satisfy the contract, VanValkenburg said.