The Regional District of Central Kootenay plans to move the Nelson transfer station from the waterfront to the end of Insight Drive, five kilometers west of the city.
In a news release Friday, the RDCK revealed that the board voted last month to proceed with buying the 22-acre property, which was identified during a selection process that began last September.
The overall cost of relocating the transfer station and developing the new site is expected to be about $3.3 million, including the purchase of the property. Development is expected to begin next year.
“The RDCK has been searching for a new site for the Nelson transfer station for at least the past 15 years,” said rural Nelson director Ron Mickel, who chairs the waste committee for the subregion that includes Nelson.
“We are pleased that we have found a location that will allow us to proceed with the upgrades to our waste management system.”
Director Ramona Faust, whose area includes the site of the proposed new transfer station added: “Staff has worked very hard to find a location that is convenient to the public, is on the way to the Ootischenia landfill, will not require highway reconfiguration and does not impact a large number of residents. The site will serve the community for a very long time.”
The current Nelson transfer station is on two parcel of land, one owned by the city and the other by CP Rail. The RDCK doesn’t have long-term tenure over either one, so relocation was identified as the preferred option.
Nelson mayor John Dooley notes the city’s Sustainable Waterfront and Downtown Master Plan identified the existing transfer station as an “ideal” location for another waterfront park.
“The relocation of the transfer station will allow the city to work in partnership with CP Rail and the RDCK towards this goal,” he said. “A permanent site for the transfer station will also allow the RDCK to improve the delivery of waste management services in the region.”
The RDCK cited reduced traffic through the Nelson city core as an advantage of the new location, including a “significant” amount of heavy truck traffic.
It will also eliminate annual lease payments to CP Rail.
The existing landfill at the transfer station is expected to close permanently and the site rehabilitated for other uses.
The RDCK says the new location has “convenient highway access,” is compatible with neighbouring land use, and is well buffered from residential properties.
It’s further expected to “offer a full range of public drop off opportunities in a clean, contained, modern facility that will offer substantial improvements to traffic flow and overall user experience.”
Moving the transfer station was identified as a priority in the RDCK’s 2010 resource recovery plan.
The RDCK says it will undertake a public consultation process on moving the transfer station, beginning July 26 with an open house from 4 to 8 p.m. in the boardroom at its Nelson office.