The initiative to expand the Lycoming County landfill's methane gas collection system took a step forward Tuesday as the county commissioners opened bids for the project.
Bids were submitted for the drilling of 20 100-foot wells and for solid and perforated plastic piping needed to construct the methane collection system.
Weaver Boos Consultants, which has 11 offices throughout the United States, submitted the apparent low bid of $67,600 for well drilling services, while L/B Water Services Inc., of Selinsgrove, was the apparent low bidder for piping with a bid of $42,000.
The bids will be reviewed to ensure they meet bid specifications, according to Michael Hnatin, county Resource Management Services engineer. A recommendation as to which bids should be accepted will be made at the commissioners next regular meeting on June 14.
Once the wells are drilled, landfill staff will install the piping, which likely will save the county a substantial amount of money, Hnatin said.
The county is expanding its landfill gas collection system to fuel the landfill's co-generation plant, which converts the gas into electricity.
The co-generation plant also is being expanded. The county last spring approved agreements with PPL Renewable Energy, a division of PPL, for the expansion of the current plant, which produces about 1,000 kilowatts of electricity per hour.
The agreement call for PPL to buy gas from the county to fuel the plant. The county then will buy back a portion of the electricity generated and sell that electricity to the Federal Bureau of Prisons Allenwood Complex.
In other business, the commissioners approved an agreement with the Tioga County Detention Center for services provided to the Lycoming County Juvenile Probation Office.
According to Nancy Ackley, of the JPO, the center will charge the county $225 per day for juvenile detention services, which is less than a 1 percent increase over last year's rate.
There will be additional charges for other services, such as drug and alcohol assessment and diagnostic services, Ackley said.
The commissioners approved a $1,500 fine by the state Department of Environmental Protection after two tractor-trailers at the county landfill were found to have broken seals that allowed waste fluid to leak from them.
According to Steve Tucker, director of Resource Management Services, landfill staff took immediate measures to prevent further leakage from occurring.