WHEATFIELD — The town has taken the next step in completing the installation of a fence around the old Niagara Sanitation Landfill on Nash Road.
On Monday, it was announced that the town had received three bids for the project. The low bidder was New York State Fence, Inc. at $106,800 and the high bidder was Fox Fence, Inc. at $219,500. In the middle bidder was Woodsmith Fence at $153,800.
"With the news of the testing results that were produced last week, this fence becomes even more important for future generations," said Supervisor Robert Cliffe.
He said now that the state Department of Environmental Conservation soil tests have indicated that contaminants from the landfill are not seeping into nearby properties, the focus is now on containing the problem. Cliffe noted that the landfill is often used by people on ATVs, which disturbs the cap on top of the contaminants, exposing them.
The DEC tested the surface soils of 23 properties (22 residential and one commercial) near the landfill. With the exception of one property that tested slightly high for mercury, other properties were found to be free of contaminants. Several neighbors of the landfill have filed a lawsuit against the town, claiming they have suffered adverse health effects.
"The results are good news for the residents of the Wheatfield community," DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a press release issued last week.
The DEC first started looking into the issue after performing remedial work to remove waste from the landfill that was believed to have been moved there from Love Canal in the 1960s. After the work was completed, the DEC downgraded the safety classification of the site from class 3 to class 2, which indicates a significant threat.
The fence project will be funded in part by the state. In February 2016, Sen. Robert Ortt announced that he'd secured $75,000 for the project. The process is still under way and the money has not yet been received by the town, Cliffe said.
Councilman Randy Retzlaff said he remembered Ortt saying that the town could request additional money if necessary. He suggested that they follow up on that.
"It can't hurt," he said.
Tim Walck of Wendel said they will be reaching out to low bidder New York State Fence to arrange a meeting to "make sure they have a complete understanding of the specs of the work." If everything goes smoothly, they will make a recommendation to award the bid at the next town board meeting, set for 7:30 p.m. Aug. 7.
He added that work likely won't begin until early September.