BONIFAY — Two environmental consultants went toe-to-toe during the Holmes County Board of County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, April 9 — one firm fighting for the spot of environmental consultant overseeing the clean-up of the local landfill, and the other firm fighting to remain.
Belinda Pollock with CDG Engineers, the county’s current environmental consultant group, was present to give an update on the landfill site.
Pollock explained that even though the site contamination is low, it is still contaminated with petroleum and after the last site screening evaluation it ranked one point higher then what is allowed for site clean up.
“We double checked to see if we could have it rescored, but we’ve found even if we did it wouldn’t yield better results,” said Pollock. “For now the site is at a standstill.”
Shortly afterward, Michael Tadlock, marketing director for Wes Environmental, LLC, stepped up to ask for the board’s consideration to make Wes Environmental the county’s new environmental consultant.
“We are a small company that brings big results,” said Tadlock. “We’ve got three geologists that combined bring 60 years of experience, we treat the property as we would our very own and we a local company.”
“We hire in Holmes County, we shop in Holmes County, we live in Holmes County,” Tadlock said. “We also firmly believe we can get the site rescored and continue progress so you can have a swift and complete closure to this project.”
Tadlock said that their geologists have found a chemical in the soil that could boost their rating by a point if allowed to rescore.
“It would be of no cost to transfer the project to us,” said Tadlock. “It would be a cost-free and seamless transition.”
Pollock stood up and said that she assured the board that the site may be able to be rescored, but she knew it wouldn’t be ranked any higher.
Tadlock insisted that if the board would appoint his firm as the county’s consultant, then they could get that score higher.
“Put your money where your mouth is,” Commissioner Kenneth Williams told Tadlock. “If you can rescore it higher then the position is yours.”
Tadlock agreed with the board’s decision that if Wes Environmental could return with a rescored site evaluation, then they would be the new contracted environmental consultants for the county — a position which is state funded and county appointed.
The board also approved to award Melvin Engineering with the design of Sandpath Road Phase II, which is a sidewalk project.
Chairman Monty Merchant said there is an issue with the spotlights for the courthouse’s flag pole constantly being out at night.
“We need to put a light on it or take it down,” said Merchant.
The board agreed to see if the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office could see about taking it down every night and putting it up every morning.
Commissioner Bill Parish was unanimously chosen to by the other board members to be the auctioneer at the auction of surplus county items to be held at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 12.
“That’s only because everyone one else wants money to do it,” said Merchant.
Merchant also asked about maintaining the landscape around the courthouse and was assured there was a landscape architect on staff to get started.
“It just doesn’t seem to make any sense to pay for the courthouse to be beautified and then let the lawn take it over,” said Merchant.
There will be a special session held at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 16, and the next regularly scheduled meeting of the commissioners is set for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30.