What is the Landfill Monitoring District?
The Landfill Monitoring District was created to maintain, monitor, and care for the former City landfill (currently Centennial Park) that was officially closed on January 27, 2000. EPA regulations require continued monitoring of closed landfills, and this district provides the funding mechanism for meeting these requirements. Property owners in City limits pay an annual assessment that allows for groundwater treatment and the environmental monitoring and reporting to appropriate state and federal agencies for the presence of methane and contaminants in groundwater, air, and soil.
Is the Landfill Monitoring District new?
No. The Landfill Monitoring District was created in December 2010 by vote of the City Commission. A new State law requires a review of the district every 13 years with the first review occurring by December 2023. The city is proposing re-creation of the district this year and is currently going through the public notice and public hearing process.
Who pays into the Landfill Monitoring District?
The current district only includes lots that were within City limits at the time of creation in 2010. Properties that have been annexed into the City since December 2010 have not been responsible for the assessment to date. If the District is extended, it would include all properties currently located within City-limits.
With the proposed re-creation, any properties that are annexed into the City in the future would be included in the district.
How does the Landfill Monitoring District benefit residents?
The Landfill Monitoring District creates a reliable and equitable assessment structure that ensures all monitoring/groundwater treatment requirements are fulfilled and to deal with any system failures or environmental concerns that may arise.
How is the money used?
Most of the funding through the Landfill Monitoring District is used for testing and monitoring. The City has 29 groundwater sample sites, as well as 61 methane sampling sites. As infrastructure upgrades are needed, or as equipment needs to be replaced, the City can pay for it using the Landfill Monitoring District funds.
What happens if the district isn’t re-created?
Regardless of whether the District is extended or not, the City remains responsible for the monitoring and groundwater treatment, and their associated costs. If the District is dissolved, the costs will likely fall to users of City solid waste services with an increased cost mainly to residents since many commercial properties use private solid waste services.
How can I share my thoughts on re-creation of the District?
There are a few ways you can comment on the proposed re-creation of the Landfill Monitoring District.
- All property owners should receive a public notice letter in the mail, along with a Protest Form. The form allows you to indicate if you Don’t Support the proposal. Residents will have until November 27, 2023 to return the form. The form can be returned to:
Clerk of the Commission
City of Helena
316 North Park Avenue, Room 323
Helena, MT 59623
- A public hearing will be held on December 18, 2023 about extending the Landfill Monitoring District. The City Commission will accept public comment during the public hearing. The meeting will start at 6 p.m. Participation is available in-person and online via Zoom. Meeting information can be found at www.helenamt.gov/meetings/.
When will the City Commission decide on re-creation of the Landfill Monitoring District?
The Commission is required by law to vote twice on re-creation of the District. The first vote took place at a Commission Meeting September 25. This vote will determine if the proposal moves forward to a final vote to establish re-creation.
The Commission voted 3-1 in favor of the proposal, prompting a required second vote. The second vote is planned for the December 18 Commission Meeting, to allow for a 60-day protest period. The protest period begins when the first publication of notice is made.