County to close trash collection site

Hundreds of Shenandoah County residents need to find a new place to drop off their trash after the end of the year.

The county plans to close its St. Luke Citizen Convenience Site at 4193 Back Road on Dec. 31. County officials failed to reach a deal with the property owners on which the trash compactor sits. The owners notified officials earlier this year that they did not want to renew their lease with the county to provide the land or operate the site. The Board of Supervisors discussed some potential options in public and in closed session after officials advised members of the situation.

Assistant County Administrator Evan Vass said Tuesday the decision to close the site came after several unsuccessful attempts to find a solution such as purchasing the property or securing a short- or long-term lease.

The county sent letters to approximately 1,300 landowners in the St. Luke community that explains the status of the site. The letter also included a map on the reverse side showing the locations of other trash compactor sites.

“The county was unsuccessful in negotiating a mutually agreeable arrangement to extend the lease or purchase the property in order to maintain service at the location,” the letter from County Administrator Mary T. Price states.

The property lies in District 3 represented by Supervisor Richard Walker.

The county operates 12 other convenience sites that accept household garbage and recycling. Several of the nearest sites are at 2984 Wolf Gap Road in Jerome, 249 Landfill Road in Edinburg, and 25360 Old Valley Pike in Maurertown.

County officials intend to try in the coming months to find an alternative location to serve the St. Luke community, Vass said. He didn’t provide a timeline given that the process remains dependant on many variables.

County administration did reach a mutually agreeable lease arrangement with Hockman Farms LLC that allows the convenience site on state Route 55 to operate for another year through Dec. 31, 2017. The county had received notification from Hockman Farms that the owners would not continue the lease for the convenience site, according to information provided by Price last week.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com.