The news came Thursday night during a joint meeting of the Kodiak City Council and Kodiak Island Borough assembly.
“In the short term, what we’re looking to do is extend the license agreement (for landfill space),” city manager Aimee Kniaziowski said.
Since December, the city of Kodiak — in partnership with Quayanna Development Corp. — have been turning sewage sludge into compost in a temporary facility atop the Kodiak Island Borough landfill’s main garbage pile.
That temporary facility must close Aug. 15, when the landfill’s active dumping face moves into the space currently occupied by the composting site.
The city’s long-term goal is to build a composting center that can turn its sludge — the leftovers from its sewage treatment plant — into “Class A” compost that can be safely used in gardens across Kodiak.
To date, the city has only been able to use a temporary facility to create low-quality, “Class B” compost that can only be used within the confines of the landfill.
“We are definitely finding that the Class A piece is going to take longer than we expected,” Kniaziowski said. “We do need to relocate that Class B composting operation while we’re working on the Class A.”
The city and borough are working on an agreement to share what’s known as the South Dump Site, a portion of the landfill plot west of the baler building and near Monashka Bay Road.
The South Dump Site is expected to eventually house a permanent, concrete-floored composting building. The building would be operated by Quayanna Development Corp., but details of the arrangement are being negotiated and would require a new contract.
In the meantime, the city faces an Aug. 15 deadline to move its temporary composting operation to the South Dump Site.
Kniaziowski was unable Thursday night to provide a cost estimate for the permanent site, but a report issued in 2010 by CH2M Hill speculated that a city-built plant could cost between $3 million and $4 million.
Last year the city transferred $4 million from its water and sewer fund to cover composting issues.
That money has since been used to pay for engineering consultants and operation of the temporary composting operation. On Jan. 30, the Daily Mirror wrote that $131,000 had been spent on the temporary composting plant to date. Further cost estimates were not immediately available.
Contact Mirror editor James Brooks at email@example.com.