Springhill dishes out the dirt

Staff ~ The Record
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SPRINGHILL - Residents looking to build the equity of their property or just level the lawn can now get in line and take advantage of Springhill's new distribution of fill materials policy.
Presented and adopted during Springhill regular monthly meeting, the policy allows taxpayers to claim unused fill from public work sites in the town through formal process.
"In the past, requests from the public were dealt with on an ad hock basis, which had caused some controversy," town engineer Brian Herteis said.
The policy allows employees to dispose of the fill from ditching and construction projects to third-party locations at no cost while its provisions protect the town in the event the disposal of the fill were to cause any damage, such as the trucks leaving tire ruts in a yard.
Requests will be dealt with on a first come, first serve basis and within reason.
"We want to be as fair as we can. We don't want to allow one person to have 10 truck loads of fill."
The second component of the policy reopens the 'duft banks' for business. With a variety of fill, the former dumping grounds for unwanted minerals from the town's mining days will remain controlled by public works but available to the public to haul away.
"The duft banks have a long history of being a disposal and fill site but it was uncontrolled," Herteis said. "The quality of fill varies from sandstone to lime rock."
Fill will be available to be taken away from the banks but in limited quantities from designated areas. Burning coal beneath the soil, recreational vehicle travel and public safety were key reasons for public works to have a policy that opened to banks to the public under the supervision of the department.
"There are banks that are there one day and gone the next [because of erosion]," Herteis said.
Material will also be available free of charge but anything above a prescribed weight or requiring town employees to collect and deposit will have an associated cost.
Red ash from the banks site, however, will be limited. The Dept. of Environment, Herteis said, states there are environmental concerns surrounding the coal-mining byproduct.

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