By RICK REMSNYDER
The saga of the seven mysterious barrels at the Town of Plattekill transfer station has taken another turn.
Following the November 16 Town Board meeting, Councilman Dean DePew Sr. said the town has decided to hire another firm to determine what is in the barrels before the town can dispose of them.
“We’re actually in the process of going in another direction because the first company was unable to retrieve any of the samples,” said DePew, referring to Clear Waters Environmental Services of Newburgh.
DePew said there was a “lack of communication on their part many, many times over” about the cost of determining what was inside the barrels. When the company said it would cost more than it had originally told the town, DePew said the board decided to go to the second low bidder.
“We’re in the process now of finding out what we can do,” said DePew, who presided over the meeting in the absence of vacationing Supervisor Jennifer Salemo. “But it’s on the front burner.”
DePew originally brought the issue of the abandoned barrels to the board on July 20. He said a private company left the barrels behind when the operation of the transfer station was turned over to the Town of Plattekill.
The abandoned barrels may have been at the transfer station since 2014 or even longer, DePew said. He said at a subsequent meeting that they were in poor shape.
The board voted 4-0 in July to approve the low bid for testing the contents of the barrels to Clear Waters Environmental Services.
On September 7, DePew reported that the firm was unable to open the barrels to draw samples because of their poor condition and the company would need to overpack the barrels to eliminate spillage and rent a forklift to facilitate the process.
The board voted 5-0 to approve the additional charge of $5,725 to secure the barrels and rent the forklift.
DePew said the process has been slowed down because the original bid was put out just to dispose of the barrels.
“We kind of added three or four months to the process by putting out the bids to get rid of the barrels as opposed to getting them analyzed and then properly getting rid of them,” he said. “I believe we’re on the right track now. It’s not like it just happened. But we understand the seriousness of it and we want to get rid of them.”
In other news, on the recommendation of Highway Superintendent Robert Wager Sr. the board approved bids for ice control sand and abrasive screenings.
Grosso Materials Inc. of Montgomery was awarded the contract for ice control sand for $10 per ton picked up and $16.75 per ton delivered.
E. Tetz and Sons Inc. of Middletown was awarded the contract for abrasive screenings for $15 per ton picked up and $32 per ton delivered.
The annual Christmas Tree Lighting has been scheduled from 6-8 p.m. on December 10 at the Thomas Felten Park in Modena. The event usually has a large bonfire and refreshments. Santa Claus also is also expected to visit.