Stalled capital budget costs county, means household hazardous waste disposal hours are cut

  • Tue Dec 5th, 2017 7:00pm
  • News

The state’s stalled capital budget again is hitting home in Grays Harbor County.

On Monday, the county commissioners agreed to reduce the operating hours for the county’s hazardous waste facility, a building on the site of the Lemay transfer station in Central Park, to only two days each month.

The facility is where people can go to dispose of things such as paint and chemicals and other potentially hazardous materials from around their houses.

The facility will only operate on the first Wednesday and the first Saturday of each month until further notice. The facility hours are 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on either day.

Each biennium, the county receives funding from the state to help offset the costs of running the facility. It costs the county about $360,000 to run the facility for two years, and the grant from the state Department of Ecology covers $185,000 over that same two-year period.

The county has spent about $90,000 this year, and $45,000 of that would have been reimbursed, but without the state capital budget, the grant has not been received and that cost has fallen to the county.

At some point next year the state likely will pass a capital budget, but what has been lost has been lost, said Mark Cox, county director of utilities and facilities.

“Hopefully, we’ll still get that same allotment (when the state budget passes). If not, we may see less from Ecology,” Cox said. “But we can’t go backwards. We can’t go back to June and say, ‘I already spent the money.’ They won’t let you do that.”

The county opened the facility in 1997. On each collection day, the facility averages about 50 customers.