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County will operate landfill

Prince Edward County is set to take over operation of the county’s landfill — which will cost approximately $131,168 less than the latest bid the county received for employing an independent operator — at the start of the new calendar year.

The decision came with a unanimous vote during a reconvened board meeting Monday.

The motion came after a nearly hour-long closed session for discussion of the proposed operation of the landfill.

The current contractor that operates the landfill, Wright’s Excavating LLC, sent a letter to the county Sept. 7, citing that after much deliberation the firm would not be able to continue operating the landfill.

Wade Bartlett

County Administrator Wade Bartlett recommended the board hire five employees to operate the landfill with the director of public works overseeing the entire landfill and solid waste collections operation.

He cited the total annual budget for the landfill would be $526,754.

“The company lost Carroll Wright and Steve Wright within a matter of a five-month span,” Mary Louise Wright wrote in the letter. “… The company has not been able to find sufficient help to manage the day-to-day operations with the three-month extension period that was granted.”

The letter also cited the company would continue to work with the county by operating until the end of the year.

The letter cited that Wright’s Excavating LLC has worked with the county for 30 years.

Bartlett was directed during the Sept. 12 board meeting to research what the cost would be to the county if the county were to operate the landfill.

“I started by determining the number of employees we would need to hire,” Bartlett said in an agenda document for Monday’s meeting. “To do that, I calculated the number of hours the landfill is in operation for a year, then adding the number of hours an employee would accrue in vacation and sick (time) because those hours have to be covered.”

He said currently the landfill, located at 130 Trashmore Road, is open six days a week — eight hours each day except for four days of holidays.

“Thus, the landfill is open 2,472 hours each year,” Bartlett said. “Adding the 96 hours of vacation earned and the 120 hours of sick time results in 2,688 total hours that must be covered by each employee.”