Fort Mill’s new trash collection site hit a hangup, so it’ll be the temporary place for a while longer.
“We told the folks in Fort Mill that we were going to be opening up this facility, I think, this summer,” said York County Councilwoman Christi Cox. “We put it on the sign. This is the second time we’ve told them that it wasn’t the right date.”
Cox said in talking with county staff, she doesn’t expect the previous mid-summer 2018 estimate for opening a new facility to be met.
“We are now not going to meet yet the newest date that we set for ourselves in terms of opening that facility,” she said.
In late 2016, council approved a public service use for property on Hensley Road and Fort Mill Parkway to become a temporary collection site, after the county lost its long-time location on Tom Hall Street to redevelopment. Last spring, the temporary site opened, with a plan of opening a larger site to take more types of waste nearby. The public service use on the temporary site only ran through Jan. 31.
Council voted Jan. 16 to extend that public service use by a year. Giving more time to complete the permanent site. Eric Rekitt, public works director for the county, said he learned just after Christmas there was a wetlands issue with the permanent site.
“We hired a consultant in December to do the design and construction administration,” he said. “The first part of design was to get in there, look at it, do a preliminary design. What they identified was a very small portion of wetlands that bisected the property, right in the middle of the usable area.”
The wetlands portion didn’t show up in the work ahead of the county purchasing the permanent site.
“It’s less than .2 acres,” Rekitt said. “It’s a very thin strip. It was identified under further investigation. Unfortunately it’s just in the worst area.”
A subconsultant had to come in and start work on a plan for the wetlands, which was outside the scope of the initial county consulting contract. Initial plans are to see if the project can avoid the wetlands, or at least enough of them to avoid having to mitigate the environmental impacts there or elsewhere. Which will impact the site the county can build.
“We are going to lose a little chunk of the usable area,” Rekitt said.
The latest delay frustrated council members.
“I really just don’t understand why it’s going to take us two years to get a dump,” Cox said. “We’re going to have the family court (facility) done before we get this dump facility done.”
Councilman Michael Johnson said he gets calls about the site, even though it’s in Cox’s district. He knows the issue is important to people.
“It’s insane that we’ve bought a piece of property that we may not be able to use,” Johnson said. “I feel like I’m on a merry-go-round and I can see the horse in front of me, and I can’t figure out why I’m not getting ahead of it. At a certain point, it just becomes comical.”
Since the Tom Hall Street site closed, the nearest full-service center is in the Baxter area. The temporary site does take most household trash and recycling. There are 16 total trash and recycling collection sites in the countywide system.