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Vilas Co. Landfill Needs More Space, County Reserve Eyed

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Purchase of 117 acres of DNR lands in St. Germain by Vilas County will allow withdrawl of county forest land for future expansion of the Highway G landfill, but who pays the $180,000 price was debated last Thursday by the county forestry committee.

With little money in the forestry segregated land account, Supervisor Art Kunde suggested the 14 municipal members of the Landfill Venture Group chip in for the purchase since they are asking to lease 72 acres that have to be withdrawn from the county forest.

The landfill operators reminded the county it was their members that funded the start and operation without using county funds and that the county has over $7 million in an unrestricted general fund.

County board chairman Ron DeBruyne agreed the 14 municipalities have invested a small fortune in the landfill since 1989 and “they provide a valuable service to county taxpayers and visitors.” He favored asking the county board to use the general fund.

Staff will draft language for the county finance committee to support a resolution to take the purchase price from the county general fund. Of the 117 acres, about half would be entered into the county forest as special use for nature based outdoor recreation and half for future county highway gravel source.

The 72 acres for future landfill is west of the present landfill site, which will start on its last cell in 2020. It takes from five to six years to license a new landfill.

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