The City of Yakima appears to have all their ducks in a row when it comes to cleaning up the old Boise Cascade Mill Site.
YAKIMA, WA - The City of Yakima appears to have all their ducks in a row when it comes to cleaning up the old Boise Cascade Mill Site.
Hard to believe looking at it now but for more than 100 years, the Boise Cascade Mill Site was a vibrant lumber mill. Now, the City of Yakima is dealing with cleaning up the landfill and the municipal solid waste buried five to seven feet under wood waste and sediment.
But they don't have to deal with it alone. The city entered into a partnership with the Department of Ecology Tuesday to help ease the evaluation and clean up process.
"The city reimburses the Department of Ecology staff for their time of the review, and we'll use city funds," said Joan Davenport, the Strategic Project Manager for the City of Yakima. "We'll use our lift funds for that."
The city said there are five removal options on the table. The lowest bid coming in at $7.24 million would remove only some of the waste, and the rest would be capped and left in place. The highest bid is $27 million, removing most of the waste from the landfill and allowing 27.6 acres to be re-developed without any municipal solid waste. The city said they're looking for something more in the middle.
"While the numbers seem large to us, and they are, relative to other related settlements they've been involved in with the Westside of the state, these are in the ballpark," said City Manager Tony O'Rourke.
The city said most of the money to clean up the landfill will come from the Department of Ecology through the "Model Toxic Control Act." But they're uncertain how much that will be.
One thing that does seem certain though, is the eagerness from the community and the city to clean up and re-develop the old mill site soon.
People living near the site said they're excited, but want the city to be aware of how it could impact these neighborhoods.
"Not do anything that would hurt the neighbors or the neighborhood, like taking land from people, taking homes from people because once these things start they can expand," said Lynne Kittelson.
"Certainly cleaning up the landfill that will take several weeks and months, will be an issue for all of us," said Davenport. "But when it's done, we want to make sure that the development that happens in the mill site is compatible to the environment."
By February of next year, the city said the final removal plan is expected to be announced to the public.