North Elba Town Supervisor Roby Politi, left, goes over some agenda items with Councilman Derek Doty prior to the Town Board’s July 10 meeting at the Town House in Saranac Lake.
Members of the North Elba Town Board Tuesday, July 10 approved a Consolidated Funding Application for grant money that would pay for updating the local comprehensive plan and developing recreation fields at the North Elba and Saranac Lake landfills.
On July 9, Saranac Lake Village Board members passed a resolution supporting the town’s application. Both municipalities are listed on the state grant, written by Matt McNamara, junior planner at the Essex County Office of Community Resources and Planning.
McNamara was at the Town Board meeting, held at the Saranac Lake Town House, to answer questions from board members.
“The landfills were capped in the mid-1990s,” McNamara said. “A lot of the off-gassing issues and settling have kind of run their course, so it’s a good opportunity to be looking at these sites for reuse.”
Capping a landfill involved a number of expensive engineering processes, including the installation of a system to vent methane gas.
In Saranac Lake, when the landfill was capped in 1996, workers from Luck Brothers in Plattsburgh covered the garbage with sand, installed a geomembrane (heavy plastic material), covered it with more sand, installed a cloth membrane, covered it with topsoil and planted grass.
“The filter and everything underneath it, what happens to that?” asked Councilman Jay Rand.
“The capping system ... that all needs to maintain its integrity, so anything that’s done basically you have to bring the site up to grade by adding fill,” McNamara said. “The engineering that gets done will accommodate for that.”
“Quite a bit of fill,” Rand said.
“Quite a bit of fill, yes,” McNamara said.
The North Elba site is pretty well graded, according to McNamara, but the landfill in Saranac Lake is more crowned and will need a lot of fill to create the recreation fields.
Town officials said there are plans to create three recreation fields at the town of North Elba landfill and two at the Saranac Lake one.
When grant money arrives, the town and village would need state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) officials to sign off on the plan for retrofitting the fields, including rerouting the methane vents.
This grant has two components, each with its own funding source.
The first part of the grant is for the landfill redevelopment and is being filed with the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The total cost of this project is $875,000. The application is asking for no more than $500,000.
The second part of the grant is for an update to the Lake Placid-North Elba Joint Comprehensive Plan and is being filed with the New York Department of State’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program. The total cost of this project is $47,200. The application is asking for no more than $50,000. The village of Lake Placid is partnering with the town of North Elba on this section of the application since they share the comprehensive plan.