Colchester County council reviewed eight options, ranging in estimated prices from $374,935 to $720,809, for how the balefill site will look after upgrades are completed.
One option, the most inclusive one, includes two scales (a new scale as well as shifting a refurbished old scale to the new location), a new scale house, two asphalted approach roads to the scales, asphalted parking and turning area for public drop-off and an asphalted bin-placement area for the drop-off facility. This option costs $720,809.
At the other end of the financial scale is an option that costs more than $374,000 and includes a “bare bones” approach. It would include the installation of one, new scale, a new scale house, one gravel surface approach road to the scale with short asphalt surface adjacent to the scale only, and the elimination of the public drop-off facility, which would mean no parking, no turning and no bin placement area.
Council ultimately passed a motion to go somewhere in the middle. The option chosen includes installing a new scale, disposing the old one, a new scale house, one concrete approach road to the scale house instead of two roads, concrete parking and turning area for the public drop-off and a bin-placement area for the drop-off facility. The original plan with this option was using asphalt instead of concrete, so the price of $516,685 will need to be adjusted for the upgrade to concrete.
One of the items that some councillors felt strongly about was ensuring a public drop-off area would remain part of the upgrades.
Coun. Bob White said not having one means people visiting the facility have to endure an unsafe environment that is also smelly and dirty.
“It’s disgusting. I’ve been inside many times and I can’t imagine not doing a public drop-off. Safety is the number one thing,” said White.
Coun. Bill Masters agreed that a separate public drop-off area could not be compromised.
“All we need is one accident … it’s just a matter of time,” added Masters.
Others questioned how feasible it is to not include a second scale in the upgrades because traffic at the site can sometimes be backed up to half and hour or so.
Ultimately, everyone agreed to recommend to county council at the end of the month to accept the middle-of-the road option. It will be voted on at the regular monthly meeting on Sept. 27.