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GF council OKs landfill funding

The Grand Forks City Council officially gave the go-ahead Monday to begin work on the new landfill in Rye Township, N.D. It approved bids for the landfill and roadwork associated with the project worth $6.9 million, which allows construction to b...

The Grand Forks City Council officially gave the go-ahead Monday to begin work on the new landfill in Rye Township, N.D.

It approved bids for the landfill and roadwork associated with the project worth $6.9 million, which allows construction to begin next month.

It also resolved to try to delay the closing of the existing landfill until Oct. 15, when a part of the new landfill is ready for use. In case federal authorities require closure, the council approved a draft agreement with the city of Fargo to haul garbage to the landfill there.

Because these matters have been in committees for months, there was no discussion among council members.

Breakdown

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Here's a breakdown of the council decisions:

- The landfill itself will cost $5.4 million. This pays for one of ultimately 10 garbage storage areas, called "cells." Each is expected to last nine to 10 years. It also pays for a garage and office and a system to pump water that percolates through the garbage to the sewage treatment plant to the south.

- The roadwork will cost $1.5 million. Two township roads are involved, serving both the landfill and the sewage plant. The city intends to annex these roads so it could take over their maintenance from the township, which the township requested.

According to the city, township Chairman Terry Stromsodt is worried that the city would use this to expand its extraterritorial jurisdiction, but city leaders have indicated they will not pursue that. The annexation itself was not addressed by the council Monday.

- As it stands now, the landfill will have to close once the new east-west runway at the airport is done around mid-August. Federal authorities fear birds attracted to the garbage could collide with low-flying aircraft, especially because one approach to the runway is over the landfill.

The city, which says it continues to work to repel birds, is asking the airport and the feds to let it keep the landfill open another two months.

- If that doesn't work, it can start hauling garbage to the Fargo landfill as early as July 1, provided the Fargo City Commission agrees. The cost for using the landfill is $27 per ton, not including transportation.

Reach Tran at (701) 780-1248; (800) 477-6572, ext. 248; or send e-mail to ttran@gfherald.com .

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