The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

October 1, 2013

Greenbrier officials support plea for tipping fee waiver

By Tina Alvey
Register-Herald Reporter

— The view from the east-facing windows of the Greenbrier County Courthouse has long included the Fort Savannah Inn. But what was in the 1970s a bustling, well-kept hostelry had in recent years deteriorated into an unmistakable eyesore — abandoned, decaying, condemned.

Now in the hands of a nonprofit group, the Lewisburg property is destined to become a public green space, dubbed Montwell Park.

With the promise of $165,000 from city coffers to help with demolition and re-grading the property, developers turned to their neighbors — Greenbrier County Commissioners — last week in an appeal for support in their bid to receive a waiver of tipping fees at the county landfill.

Local contractor Florian Schleiff, who is one of the project’s organizers, advised commissioners he estimates the demolition of the nascent park site will yield some 900 tons of debris. At current rates, the tipping fees at the landfill for that massive deposit will total $45,000, he said.

Schleiff said he has discussed the situation with personnel at the Greenbrier County Landfill and was told that they are worried about the prospect of the debris being dumped in a sinkhole rather than being cleanly disposed of in the sanitary landfill. For that reason, landfill management supports the developers’ request for a waiver of tipping fees, Schleiff noted.

But in order to waive the fees, the Greenbrier County Solid Waste Authority (SWA) will need permission from the state Department of Environmental Protection.

“I think it’s a great, great project,” commission President Karen Lobban said of the park, which is expected to include a pavilion to provide shelter for farmers’ market vendors and patrons, along with walking trails, a water feature and a restaurant.

Commissioners voted unanimously to draft a letter supporting the fee waiver request, which the SWA will forward to state officials for action.

— E-mail: talvey@register-herald.com