Plan to remove dirt pile may take longer than expected

DAVISON TWP. — A plan to use 350,000 cubic yards of dirt and clay leftover from the excavation of Lake Callis to put a cap on the Richfield Landfill has hit a minor snag but will still move ahead as planned.

Davison Township Supervisor Tim Elkins said the plan, funded by the state of Michigan with a $1.1 million grant, will get started on approximately Sept. 10.

But rather than using up the entire 350,000 cubic yards piled off Gale Road, south of Davison Road next to the Davison Dog Park, the state has determined it only needs between 60,000-78,000 cubic yards of dirt and clay.

“After talking to EGLE (the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) and the state engineer to do the bid specifications, I’m working to come up with a Plan B for the rest of the clay,” said Elkins. “The goal is the same, to remove the dirt and clay and restore the property to as close as possible to before the dirt was put there – this plan wasn’t what I wanted.”

Elkins is, however, working to find other companies and landfills that might want the remaining clay and dirt. But, he admits, the process could take 3-4 years to see all the dirt removed and the site restored.

The 3-4-year plan would potentially move all the clay off the site with minimal cost to township and only some restoration costs to the site. He said the state and county are onboard with the plan, which includes a three-year erosion permit from Genesee County.

“The board is onboard with it, the county is good with it,” said Elkins. “They gave us a 3-year soil erosion permit. The company we’re dealing with works with several companies in the area of transport, so we have high hopes for that.”

The removal of the 60,000- 78,000 cubic yards of soil and clay is expected to be completed by Sept. 15 and it will be moved to Richfield Township, where it will be used to cap the landfill there.

Elkins said he hopes to find someone else who needs a large quantity of dirt and clay, who can take some or all of the remaining pile this fiscal year.

He said once the dirt is gone, the township has budgeted $35,000 for clean-up after the hill has been removed.