SALISBURY — Despite some misgivings about potential traffic and noise problems, Wicomico officials last week voted to approve the acquisition of roughly 23 acres near Fruitland for a new solid waste transfer station for the county.
The Wicomico County Council last week approved the purchase of a 23-acre-plus tract along Allen Rd. near Fruitland for just over $150,000 for a new solid waste transfer station. The council approved the purchase after considerable debate about the potential truck traffic in and out of the future facility, the safety along the access roads and the potential impacts on residents in the community.
The Allen Rd. site, referred to as the Banks property, was chosen from a short list of two final candidates for the future home of the transfer station. It was largely considered the best option of the two remaining sites on the list because of the width and quality of the access roads leading into the facility. Wicomico Director of Administration Wayne Strausburg said the two sites were comparable in terms of size and visibility from the roadway, making the condition of the access roads the tipping point, so to speak.
“The very clear difference is the road access and the width of the drainage ditches along the roadways,” he said. “The cost is relatively comparable and we believe the safety provided in terms of heavy truck traffic is better served by the Banks site.”
The decision was made after a series of town hall meetings on the future site of the transfer station and Strausburg told the council he believed most of the community’s concerns raised during those meetings had been addressed. However, Councilman Bob Culver said he wasn’t so sure.
“I don’t think we left that meeting with people entirely happy,” he said. “They had real concerns and I’m not sure we’ve addressed them with what we have in front of us today.”
Several private citizens spoke during the discussion including one individual who raised the issue of noise from heavy equipment. Another speaker voiced concern about property value impacts. Strausburg, however, said not everyone would be happy with either decision.
“Several houses are affected by both sites,” he said. “Can we choose one set of residents over the other?”
The council voted 5-2 to approve the transfer station acquisition.