Work is moving at the new landfill just east of Havre, with more bids about to be taken, although the question of accessing the area from U.S. Highway 2 to the north still is in the air.
Advanced Earthwork out of Victor has completed the first pit at the site, with glowing praise by county officials, and work is being scheduled to erect the main building to operate there.
The site, about three-and-a-half miles east of Havre, was selected to replace the current site, halfway between Havre and Chinook.That site, opened in the 1980s and intended to last 100 years, became much more expensive after new Environmental Protection Agency requirements were implemented in the 1990s.
The new site will not require liners to be installed in new pits dug there due to geological formations under the site. The current landfill would require the use of liners, at nearly $2 million extra a shot.
A property owner with land over which the proposed route to access the new site from the north has filed a lawsuit saying the county has no right to use that road. American Wind and Wheat Farms LLC, with George Power listed as a contact with a Sylmar, Calif, address, filed the lawsuit contesting right of way the county government claims on the road the disposal board plans to use for access.
No hearing or trial dates had been set on the lawsuit as of this morning.
The landfill serves residents in Blaine, Chouteau and Liberty counties. It is overseen by the Unified Disposal Board with representatives from each county.
Clausen and Sons, the Havre company awarded the contract to erect the building at the site, is waiting on some additional issues before starting that work, including resolving finding the best source for providing ground-source heat, planning on radiant heat in the floors and connection of a natural gas line.
The building will provide both office and work space, including a fully supplied and stocked shop and space to build and paint the large metal dumpsters used by the Unified Disposal Board.
Bids will be taken next week on the erection of fences around the property, including retaining fences designed to prevent trash from blowing out of the area.
Expansion of work on recycling at the area — recyclable material already is separated out and taken to Pacific Steel and Recycling — has been set back after a $75,000 federal grant was cut to $3,000, although the board intends to continue working to expand recycling at the landfill.