Commissioners vote to construct new landfill cell

The commissioners pushed ahead with plans to expand the Archuleta County Landfill Tuesday, when they voted unanimously to put the construction of Cell 3 out to bid.

With staff and funding shortfalls — coupled with environmental difficulties — the completion of Cell 3 has dogged the county and its solid waste staff for nearly two years.

Most recently, although dollars and manpower were available to see the project through, the site for Cell 3 contained standing water that many feared was toxic and would require special measures for containment and removal before cell construction began.

In his report to the board Tuesday, Archuleta County Solid Waste Director Chris Tanner said lab tests indicated the water is not hazardous and can be pumped out to an on-site retention pond.

Tanner said the extraction of the standing water and the completion of Cell 3 could be accomplished by early August.

“Time is of the essence on this project, we’re moving ahead swiftly on this project, or as swiftly as government can,” Tanner said.

Archuleta County Commissioner Bob Moomaw spurred Tanner ahead and said until Cell 3 is finished, the county will have difficulty fully enforcing its nuisance ordinance.