Iowa City Set to Rebuild Fire-Damaged Landfill

By Mark Carlson, Reporter

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By Ellen Kurt

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Iowa City officials are preparing to rebuild the landfill cell damaged by a massive summer fire. The city is planning to put in place a number of safeguards, which will prevent a similar situation from occurring in the future, Geoff Fruin, assistant to the City Manager, said.

"We can't afford another situation like that," Fruin said. "So we're making changes."

The changes will include using dirt or gravel to section-off the rubber lining, which burned for more than three weeks after the fire broke out Memorial Day weekend. The new rubber lining will also be immediately covered by a layer of existing trash, Fruin said.

"We can't have a lot of exposed rubber," he said.

Construction will begin when the ground thaws out sometime this spring, landfill Superintendent Dave Elias said. The city council will first need to approve an initial plan, before seeking bids on the project. A vote is scheduled for Tuesday night.

The cost to rebuild is estimated at more than $1.6 million. The total cost to the city from the fire is around $5 million.

Cities across Iowa and the country are paying close attention to Iowa City's efforts to prevent another fire, Fruin said.
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