County closed trash site
The Snowbird dumpster site closed Tuesday, but the closure wasn’t due to planned road improvements by the NCDOT as claimed by Graham County Manager Becky Garland two weeks ago.
That project is at least five years in the future according to local NCDOT Transportation Manager Shane Edwards.
So what gives?
“We were laboring under a misconception,” Garland said Monday afternoon. “It is not DOT’s fault. We misinterpreted information we were looking at that left us under the impression that the right-of-way acquisition was going to be sooner than DOT has just reported to us.”
According to Garland, she expected the right-of-way acquisition within 18 months. “We were just a little too aggressive with thinking DOT’s timeline was going to be sooner rather than later.”
That aggressiveness appears to have been influenced by county leaders’ desire to reduce the number of dumpster sites. “Part of our concern, however, is also creating greater efficiencies in garbage collection and we thought that this would work best with the changes in the road planning,” Garland said.
Garland elaborated in the following statement:
“Graham County is seeking to increase efficiencies in our garbage collection and disposal.
The county manager has made the case twice in the paper that our system is inefficient and is costing the taxpayers more money than in neighboring counties.
Part of that effort is to streamline operations better so that we are not duplicating effort. The Snowbird site is located within less than a mile from the transfer station, which also serves as a dumpster site. During budget, we discussed the fact that in the future DOT would be making improvements to Snowbird Road, which could necessitate a closure to the site anyway so the decision was made to close the site for the sake of efficiency. The county manager is currently has the whole sanitation under study, which could result in other changes. These future changes are not clear at this time.”