ARCADIA — Expansion is likely for DeSoto County’s landfill.
The county is purchasing around 30 acres of land just north of the current landfill facility at 3268 SW Dishong Ave.
“The purchase was simply an opportunity as the property was listed by the owner,” said county spokesperson Tara Poulton. “It is not important, or urgent to purchase additional land; it is a long-term benefit. Landfill construction and operation is expensive. The intent (of this purchase) is to ensure long-term capacity as garbage will always have to be managed.”
At its Oct. 8 meeting, the DeSoto County Commission unanimously approved the purchase of the land, currently a citrus grove, for $285,000.
The landfill is an enterprise fund, which means it operates as a business unit and receives no general tax dollars, according to Poulton.
“The purchase will be funded by landfill operating reserves,” Poulton said.
The seller was John Parker, Jr. Trust.
In September, the board authorized County Administrator Mandy Hines to negotiate a contract for the purchase of the land.
This is not the first time the county has had to expand the landfill.
“About 12 years ago, the county purchased 24 acres to the south side for long-term needs. This property is estimated to provide space for another 24 to 30 years,” Poulton said.
The county estimates not needing to use the property for another 20 to 30 years.
“The current landfill has five cells,” Poulton said, “four of which are at or near maximum capacity. The county just constructed ‘cell 5’, which is estimated to have a life of 8-10 years.”
At the Oct. 8 meeting, Commissioner J.C. Deriso asked what the county was planning to do with the property for the next couple of decades.
“Will we be able to lease the grove out to somebody to operate what’s there now?” Deriso said.
The county does have options, according to Hines.
“Once you acquire the property, we have the option to treat that (property) like any other county property going through a proper bid process to make that available for long-term maintenance, cattle lease, grove ... it doesn’t have to sit (unused) for 20 years.”