After brainstorming ways to add another cell to its landfill, Crook County reached a new deal with two private contractors, and digging should soon begin.
>Crook County reached a deal with two private contractors to get the project underway
Crook County will soon approve a contract with Prineville-based SMAF and Taylor Northwest of Bend for construction of the new cell. Rather than pay the two companies out-of-pocket for the work, the County has agreed to give them the majority of the rock they excavate. They will sell the rest to the Crook County Road Department at a rate of about $7.85 per cubic yard, which is comparable to other rock suppliers. The proposal will save about $1.2 million on cell construction.
“Of the ways to do something less expensively, this seemed to be a good proposal,” said Crook County Commissioner Ken Fahlgren.
The County will build an approximately 50-foot-deep, five-acre cell adjacent to one of the existing cells. They will not use it right away, but wanted to prepare the landfill for the future.
“With current volumes, we aren’t going to need one for approximately eight to 10 years,” said Landfill manager Leroy Gray, “but there is no sense in waiting until the last minute either.”
When the County first considered trading the work for rock, they weren’t sure whether it would work or not, because nobody had tried it before.
“We were pleasantly surprised that our idea could go as far as it did,” Fahlgren said.
Along with the savings generated by the agreement, SMAF and Taylor Northwest will pay the County $1 per ton of rock they excavate.
They will also contribute $25,000 toward construction of a water well on site, which will be used for dust control during the terms of the contract. After completion of the cell, the well will remain for use by the landfill — filling yet another need for the facility.
“We have got one water well right now that we use,” Gray said. “We have to use that one well for our water truck needs so we can keep our roads wet down and the dust abatement done. It (the well) doesn’t put out enough to do but about three water truckloads a day. It’s a poor producing well.”
The agreement will benefit the contractors who agreed to do the work as well.
“It just puts some more people to work,” said SMAF Construction owner Scott Porfily. “It definitely fills the gap for us when times are slow.”
The excavation will also provide SMAF with some higher-quality rock, which could enable them to make asphalt and possibly work on federal highway projects.
“From our standpoint, it opens up some opportunity for some other jobs that we can’t meet right now — which then again puts some more people back to work,” Porfily said.
SMAF and Taylor Northwest will begin work on the cell after the County signs off on the construction contract. While they have not set a completion date, Fahlgren expects the work to take about one to four years.
After digging the cell, the County will still need to add a liner, which will cost them more than $1 million.
“It is a multiple layered liner — part of it is rubber liner,” Fahlgren said. He added that the rest of the liner will include layers of gravel, clay and other materials. “It is probably two or three feet thick.”
Though expensive, the cost of the liner won’t sting quite as much because of the savings provided by the agreement with SMAF and Taylor Northwest.
“By deleting the first $1.2 million, it’s probably half of the price of a completed, lined cell,” Fahlgren said.