County makes plan to clean illegal dumps
Escambia County Commissioners are moving forward with plans to clean up illegal dumpsites around the county — and the work is moving quickly.
Dave Avant with Regional Environmental Solutions told commissioners Monday three sites are ready for remediation using funds from the Alabama Department of Environ-mental Management.
“As soon as site access is granted for cleanup, the county can enter a contract with ADEM for that cleanup process,” Avant said. “Once the contract is accepted and the county chooses to do the cleaning, there will be a six-month window to get the work completed.”
County Engineer Bill Bridges will help determine the costs in cleanup of any of the sites ready for remediation, Avant, said.
“Once we come up with a cost to do the work we can submit a proposal with a remediation plan and move forward,” Avant said. “The cost would be paid through ADEM funding to the county for that work.”
Avant said the move up the remediation time frame was quicker on some properties because of the status of the site.
“Some of these sites are ‘innocent landowner’ sites,” Avant said. “They had no knowledge of the dumping situation and didn’t contribute to the problem there. That gave the site a higher ranking by ADEM for funding.”
Some of the sites included in the most pressing areas include property on Johnson, Sardis and Atmosphere Road areas near Atmore, Avant said. Other sites are awaiting inspector updates and approval from ADEM, he said.
With 11 sites on the list for possible remediation funding by ADEM, Avant said work is moving forward to help clean up the county’s illegal dumping areas.
The county commission entered into an agreement with Avant’s firm, Regional Environmental Solutions and Recyling, last year after learning some cleanup funding could come to the county if they performed the cleanup process of illegal dump sites approved for remediation using ADEM funding.
“We identify the dump sites in the county and submit the data to ADEM and follow the process all the way through to get the sites cleaned up,” Avant told commissioners prior to the agreement.
Avant said the partnership with his company could mean money in the county coffers if they performed their own cleanup work.
“The county can play whatever role you want — from trucks and personnel to just about any phase of the process,” Avant said. “Because we are doing the work, the county can work as a contractor and make money doing some or all of the work. It’s a win-win for the county.”
In other business, the commission
• Approved the post of speed limit signs on Ashcraft Lane. Commissioner Brandon Smith said residents in the area had requested the posting of the speed limit there. “There are a lot of kids out there and a lot of joy riders through the area,” Smiths aid. “We need to get that speed limit in place there so the Sheriff’s Department can have a leg to stand on when they crack down on that situation.” The speed limit will be posted at 25 miles per hour along Ashcraft Lane.
• Approved a request for the Mt. Calvary Cemetery along U.S. 29. Commissioner Raymond Wiggins said the Mt. Calvary Church had acquired the land for that purpose. “Charles Stone donated the property to them and they are in desperate need of a cemetery,” Wiggins said. “Approval has already been granted from the Health Department.”
• Heard from County Engineer Bill Bridges on construction projects around the county. The Booneville Road bridge is nearing completion with approaches expected to be paved within the next week, Bridges said. The Smith Dairy Road Bridge is also ready for paving and guardrails prior to opening. In upcoming projects, Bridges said bids for work on Mashmire Tower road and Madden Smith Loop should be opened in the next two weeks with work plans moving forward after those bids are awarded.
• Ratified a plan for the Oil and Gas Trust Fund investment. The reinvestment of $1.5 million was made on a Federal Home Loan mortgage bond at a rate of 1.125 percent step-up product according to County Administrator Tony Sanks. The bond investment was twice the rate offered by certificates of deposit during the recent reinvestment period, he said. The step-up product will yield rates as high as 6 percent if it is held until maturity without being called, Sanks said.