Slabtown to get new convenience center

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By Stan Welch

The existing Slabtown convenience center on Three and Twenty Road is slated to be closed and torn down sometime next year. But a new, larger and updated center will replace it in a new location, said Greg Smith, the Anderson County director of environmental services.

The County Council has approved the project, which will be located near the intersection of Pickens Drive and Highway 88. The site comprises 17.25 acres and Smith says the actual facility will have a footprint of approximately twelve acres.

Both Smith and District Six Councilman Ken Waters are glad to see the new facility underway. Both agree that the old site is dangerous to get in and out of due to the curvy nature of Three and Twenty Road. The site averages 1745 vehicles a week. Both also agree that the new site will be able to handle more recyclable materials, as well as yard debris.

Smith said the new site will be able to accept construction and demolition debris (C&D) along with the limbs and leaves generated by yard work.” We will accept properly packaged mainstream solid waste, or garbage. We’ll also accept C&D, yard waste, clear, green and brown glass, plastic, types 1 and 2, cardboard and mixed paper, used oil and oil bottles, and white goods, such as washers and stoves.”

According to Smith, the county has a contract on the land and is conducting the required environmental impact studies. They have 120 days to complete those, though Smith anticipates study results earlier than that.

The project, including the acquisition of the site itself, is budgeted for $740,000. Joyce Engineering is doing the preliminary engineering work; but the actual construction will be let for bids in the coming months. A similar project at the Carswell Center near Iva will be done at the same time, hopefully reducing costs.

Smith is hoping to open the new center late next spring, perhaps in May. Once that is accomplished, the current site, which was built in the Seventies, will be torn down and become “a nice grassy plot of land”, according to Smith. The new site will be well kept and clean promised Smith.

Councilman Waters said,  “We have been needing this for a long time. The current site is poorly located, with no room to expand. This will be much safer for the people in the community. We’ve had a number of accidents but no one has been killed. I’m just pleased to see things coming together.”

Anyone with questions can contact Greg Smith at 260-1001.