Derry transfer station project hits snag
Public Works Director Michael Fowler updated town councilors on the project in a meeting earlier this month.
Plans call for recyclables, such as aluminum and glass, to be separated at the new transfer station, providing more potential revenue for the town, Fowler said.
Derry has outgrown the old transfer station that was built in 1980, Fowler said. Residents are encountering delays, especially on Saturdays, Fowler said.
“One of the big things we’ve tried to do with this design is to make it so that the average customer experience on a Saturday, when it’s very, very busy, is not a 15-minute wait,” Fowler said.
A new site for the proposed facility has been selected on the current transfer station property and must be prepared for construction, Fowler said. The work will include removing fill material from the site.
Fowler has been working with the engineering team on the design to stay within the project’s budget, but the process has been frustrating at times.
As a result, the design has been revamped and the size of the planned building has been reduced from 22,000 square feet to 17,000 square feet.
Site work is running way over budget, and is now estimated at between $3 million and $4 million alone, Fowler said.
During the meeting, Councilor Brad Benson questioned Fowler on a cost estimate of $300 per square foot to build the facility.
“That number seems astronomical to me,” Benson said.
“I wish we were a little further along, but sometimes that’s the reality,” Fowler said. “I wouldn’t put a project out irresponsibly that was going to bid for double what we had for available funds.”
If the project was halted, Fowler said, it should be noted that the town would then be left with the old transfer station building, which has some structural deficiencies.