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HomeNewsArchivesLow Turnout Keeps Waste Board from Acting on St. Croix Transfer Station

Low Turnout Keeps Waste Board from Acting on St. Croix Transfer Station

Sept. 19, 2008 — The lack of a quorum at Friday's V.I. Waste Management Authority board meeting put a hold on the first step in developing a transfer station on St. Croix.
After the board approves the $150,000 contract, the St. Croix Renaissance Group will start work on the transfer station's design. It will be located at St. Croix Renaissance's acreage in Estate Anguilla.
"We'll set a time when we can deal with this," said Board Chairman Winston Adams. He did not elaborate on when that time would be.
The board met at the Westin Resort and Villas on St. John.
The transfer station is necessary because the agency must stop accepting garbage at the Anguilla landfill by Dec. 31, 2009, said Waste Management Director May Cornwall.
Where St. Croix's garbage will go remains in question.
"It could be St. Thomas, it could be Puerto Rico," Cornwall said. However, she said Puerto Rico is unlikely because the island has its own solid-waste problems.
Waste Management and the V.I. Water and Power Authority are working together on a waste-to-energy program and are in discussions with possible suppliers, Cornwall said.
"It's three to five years for a long-term solution," she said.
The board also discussed the $3.2 million contract with Williams Fire and Hazard to extinguish the Anguilla landfill underground fire that has burned for years. Work is supposed to start in October and take 45 days.
V.I. Fire Service will be at the site.
"They use it as a training exercise," Cornwall said. The ground over the fire would be cleared by bulldozers, with the contractor extinguishing the fires with water, she said.
The staff and board discussed the persistent problem of people dumping old tires in the bushes and discarded appliances at trash bins.
The Waste Management Authority and the V.I. Police Department are working on a plan to utilize the police department's cameras placed at 2,000 locations around the territory in hopes of catching people who dump tires and appliances.
Judges are reluctant to hit offenders with the mandatory $1,000 fine because of the hardship it poses, so the charges get dropped, according to Waste Management Authority attorney Iver Stridiron.
"We do a lot of written warnings and find it very effective," Cornwall said.
As the discussion progressed, Stridiron stressed that the authority would not set up a quota system for its enforcement officers because it would encourage giving tickets to people who "would not normally be issued citations."
One enforcement officer got a citation for littering from a fellow officer, Stridiron told the board.
Cornwall spoke about the frustration that comes with Waste Management's lack of resources regarding fixing the sewer system. Mapping of the entire system on all three islands is complete, with the areas in the worst shape getting a grade of five.
While the intent is to address problems in those areas, emergencies continue to happen. This diverts resources from fixing the system.
"We have 120 miles of lines that have been ignored for 20 years," said Sonya Nelthrop, the authority's chief of planning and program development. It will take five to 10 years to bring the system up to snuff, she said.
The board started the meeting an hour late and with only Adams and board member Glen Smith present. Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls, also a board member, arrived more than an hour after that.
Absent were board members Brion Morrisette, Llewelyn Reed and Dodson James.
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