Archive for Thursday, June 5, 2014

Basehor brush dump site’s future in question

The Basehor city brush dump located at the Basehor City Park.

The Basehor city brush dump located at the Basehor City Park.

June 5, 2014

The city of Basehor burns what is dumped at the city brush dump. Sometimes, the burn offs can last days and the city says complaints have been made about the smoke.

The city of Basehor burns what is dumped at the city brush dump. Sometimes, the burn offs can last days and the city says complaints have been made about the smoke.

— The future of Basehor's free brush dump site near Basehor City Park is in question following years of abuse and over-dumping by people and companies outside of Basehor.

The City Council discussed the site's future Monday night and decided that the city may have to reduce the dump's hours and procedures for the public to use the site. Some of the board members suggested closing it.

In a letter to the the council, City Superintendent Gene Myracle said the city has had to push the brush pile out of the city park parking lot five times in the past two months.

"Up until recently the system has worked," Myracle wrote. "However, the community has outgrown the dump site, and the word has gotten out about free dumping in our city."

The dump site was originally only intended for yard waste and tree branches. Myracle said the dump has drawn numerous residents and business from outside the city limits to bring in loads of debris. Myracle said the city has had to haul off decking lumber, concrete, bricks, tree stumps, bags of household carpet and other items the dump wasn't designed for.

"It's hard to control at this point," City Administrator Lloyd Martley said. "With the future expansion of our park and the plans that we have, this is just going to become an eyesore.'

Martley said the police department has not been able to catch any illegal dumpers. Martley did say that vandalism has increased at the dump site, and patrols have been increased in the area.

"We do not have the manpower to constantly watch the park," Martley said.

To try to dissuade people from abusing the dump, the city has tried to place barricades in front of the dump during closed night hours, but those have been ignored or torn out, Martley said.

Myracle requested that the city select a designated couple of weeks throughout the year for a "citywide cleanup," where the city would open up the public works facility, and residents could bring out everything from brush to old paint.

"Residents could bring anything they want," Myracle said.

Several council members suggested that the city designate one Saturday per month where residents could do this for free. Ty Garver and Vernon Fields said they would consider the closing of the dump entirely while opting for a monthly city cleanup day with the option to open the public works department to the public after severe storms.

"We have a county landfill five miles north of city limits that I know I use and they don’t charge me when you dump grass clippings and yard," Garver said. "I really would not have that much concern shutting this down and letting a professional take care of it."

Fields said he is most concerned with the city's beautification efforts at the park and the role the dump plays in the plans.

"I don’t want my grandkids running around in a park that has a dump," Fields said.

The council recommended that the city propose an amendment to the ordinance regarding the dump and will consider such an amendment at its July council meetings.

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