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Waste-processing plant looking to locate locally

DAYTON–The Columbia County Commissioners (BOCC) heard a presentation to put a waste processing plant out at the rock quarry; consideration of the concept of framework pay; potential bear lawsuit; and approved a liquor license.

Dave Dressler, who owns and operates Bio-Environmental Resource Recovery International, known as BERRI LLC, transforms hazardous landfill materials into safe, nutrient-rich dirt. According to Dressler they can take food waste, yard clippings, diapers, tires, leather, plastics, and more turning it into safe compost or fill dirt in 60-70 days. The process uses a large grinder to grind up the materials and mix it with green waste and add it to beds that are turned every few days.

The BERRI MARS process can break down just about anything in a landfill including items contaminated with oils and tars.

"Then we get into the testing, this is all in conjunction with the Department of Health of Idaho, so if you look here at the beginning of testing you will end up seeing a little bit of heavy metals at first but here is what we call the volatiles," said Dressler. "These are the ones in the composting process that go away."

Currently Dressler can sell the dirt in Idaho, but the Department of Ecology in Washington has not yet approved it for sale.

"So right now from us you are asking for space, you are not asking for any money, correct?" asked Commissioner Marty Hall. "Because the first place my mind goes is the liability aspect. We need to make sure we are not creating a liability for ourselves." The BOCC agreed it is necessary to verify with the Department of Ecology, the risk this process may have to the county, and the type of permits needed.

The Department of Human Resources invited Katie Busch of HR Compensation Consultants LLC to present information on the concept of framework pay. If the commissioners choose to utilize the services of HR Compensation Consultants LLC, the company would work with the county over approximately four months, to perform a job study and market analysis resulting in a how to plan to implement a new pay structure for county employees which is more competitive in the current employee market.

The BOCC unanimously agreed to add their names to a potential lawsuit being filed by Okanogan County Farm Bureau, against re-introducing Grizzly Bears into the north Cascade Mountain Range. Commissioner Hall said the potential action was brought to his attention during a recent Eastern Washington Council of Governments meeting in Davenport, Wash. The group is not looking for financial help, only as much support from surrounding County Commissioners as possible, to add weight to their suit.

The commissioners also approved a liquor license for the KOA at the Lyons Ferry Marina, and discussed potential sale of surplus property to the City of Dayton. The property is land next to the Touchet River, Main Street bridge and where the public restrooms are located. The City would like to take ownership of this property, take over maintenance of the public facilities, and re-open it to the public. Currently, the county has not opened the rest rooms.

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