Opinion

Update on re-use at Orcas Transfer Station | Guest column

by MARK DETRAY

Executive director of the Exchange

If you have been wondering, pondering, musing over and/or otherwise asking yourself and others about the status of site clean-up and a new reuse center at the Orcas Island Transfer Station, here’s the latest.

The Exchange has filled out all relevant portions of a Demolition Permit for site clean-up and passed it on to the San Juan County Solid Waste Administrator to complete and submit to the SJC Department of Community Development and Planning. The time line for this work will depend on the processing time for the Demolition Permit and is as yet unknown.

The clean-up of the burned structure is anticipated to be carried out by Island Excavating using an excavator and two people on the ground. All items of interest to posterity have been gathered and removed from the burned area.

We have proposed to gravel the burned area and convert it into a one-way lane, with additional parking on the left side of the lane. The new Reuse Center (shall we call it The Phoenix as The Exchange will be expanding its operations to the transfer station as a whole?) will be set off to the right of this one-way lane.

We are in the process of exploring our short- and long-term options, and envision using a step-wise process – as building plans and permits are approved and the necessary resources become available – to get to an ideal reuse space. As these plans develop and materialize, we will inform the community about the details and any volunteer opportunities involved in implementation.

The outpouring of support and generosity from the community in this process has been down-right heartening. At least one of us involved has been asked, “How are you holding up?”  The answer: “With the help of many hands.”

A heartfelt thank you from The Exchange to each and everyone of you!

For those who would like to donate to building a new reuse center at the Orcas Island Transfer Station, the Orcas Island Community Foundation has set up a tax-deductible donation fund for The Exchange.  To make a donation to this cause, go to www.oicf.us and click on “Donate Now Through Network for Good” on the upper right-hand side of the page; at the top of the resulting webpage, enter the amount you wish to donate, enter “The Exchange” in the “Designation” field located half-way down the page, and then proceed to the bottom of the page to complete the process.

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