KEMPTOWN - Upgrades to the balefill site in Kemptown are one step closer to happening now that council has agreed in principle to the project design.
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.
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," said White. "I've been inside many times and I can't imagine not doing a public drop-off. Safety is the number one thing."
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.