Landfill invests in new equipment

ATLANTA – The Montmorency-Oscoda-Alpena Solid Waste Management Authority has invested a lot of time and money into dealing with the disposal of leachate and because of the effort it has allowed the landfill to save money.

Leachate management is only one portion of the overall operations at the landfill and during Friday’s meeting the commissioners made an investment that will help its employees to maintain the property better than in the past. The board approved spending $24,300 for a New Holland truck from Don’s Ford and Tractor in Alpena. The new truck will come equipped with a brushhog and forks that can be used for many different types of work at the landfill.

The landfill had accepted bids for a new truck last month, but the lone bid came in higher than what it wanted to spend, and most did not meet the specifications that were issued in the bid notice. Alpena County Commissioner Cam Habermehl said the landfill then went on its own and got quotes from local businesses and decided to go with the truck and price approved by a 6-0 vote.

“We had only received one bid and it was for a truck that was quite a bit bigger than what we wanted,” Habermehl said. “This can be used for a lot of things at the landfill and that is why we got the forks and brushhog. Its primary use will be to cut the long grass and weeds that grow on the edge of the cells like we are required to. Overall we have about 20-30 acres that need to be cleared and maintained, but it will be used for a lot of things.”

In other business

the landfill intends to plant 100 hybrid poplar trees in the cells as part of a test to see how much of the leachate the trees will consume, and if the trees will survive the toxicity of it. The plan is legal under state environmental laws because the trees will be confined to the cell. Habermehl said the trees have been delivered and he believes they will be in place next week.

during its last meeting the commissioners discussed having Administrator Sandy Cunningham play a more prominent role in the day-to-day finances, as well as the recording, posting and deposit of the landfill’s funds. Currently Montmorency County Treasurer Karen Weiland-Tyler handles a portion of the landfill’s banking and paperwork. Montmorency County receives $5,000 annually for the service, but the commissioners are considering a switch. The issue was tabled Friday because Cunningham was on vacation and not able to attend the meeting to add insight, but will be revisited at future meetings.

the board explored purchasing a new pump for the landfill. One of the current pumps needs more than $6,000 worth of repairs and the commissioners believe they can purchase a new one for about $9,000. No action was taken Friday on the matter.

the next meeting is scheduled for June 28 at 9 a.m. at the landfill in Atlanta.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review … at