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North Elba approves grant application for rec fields

North Elba Town Supervisor Roby Politi, left, goes over some agenda items with Councilman Derek Doty prior to the Town Board’s July 10 meeting at the Town House in Saranac Lake.

North Elba Town Supervisor Roby Politi, left, goes over some agenda items with Councilman Derek Doty prior to the Town Board’s July 10 meeting at the Town House in Saranac Lake. Photo by Andy Flynn.

— Members of the North Elba Town Board Tuesday, July 10 approved a Consolidated Funding Application for grant money that would pay for updating the local comprehensive plan and developing recreation fields at the North Elba and Saranac Lake landfills.

On July 9, Saranac Lake Village Board members passed a resolution supporting the town’s application. Both municipalities are listed on the state grant, written by Matt McNamara, junior planner at the Essex County Office of Community Resources and Planning.

McNamara was at the Town Board meeting, held at the Saranac Lake Town House, to answer questions from board members.

“The landfills were capped in the mid-1990s,” McNamara said. “A lot of the off-gassing issues and settling have kind of run their course, so it’s a good opportunity to be looking at these sites for reuse.”

Capping a landfill involved a number of expensive engineering processes, including the installation of a system to vent methane gas.

In Saranac Lake, when the landfill was capped in 1996, workers from Luck Brothers in Plattsburgh covered the garbage with sand, installed a geomembrane (heavy plastic material), covered it with more sand, installed a cloth membrane, covered it with topsoil and planted grass.

“The filter and everything underneath it, what happens to that?” asked Councilman Jay Rand.

“The capping system ... that all needs to maintain its integrity, so anything that’s done basically you have to bring the site up to grade by adding fill,” McNamara said. “The engineering that gets done will accommodate for that.”

“Quite a bit of fill,” Rand said.

“Quite a bit of fill, yes,” McNamara said.

The North Elba site is pretty well graded, according to McNamara, but the landfill in Saranac Lake is more crowned and will need a lot of fill to create the recreation fields.

Town officials said there are plans to create three recreation fields at the town of North Elba landfill and two at the Saranac Lake one.

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