Carroll College wants to know what Helena is going to do about 20 tons of garbage, intended for the city landfill but inadvertently dumped on adjacent Carroll property 15 to 20 years ago.
It is estimated the garbage is at least 30 feet deep in some areas and could cover between one and two acres.
Carroll officials, concerned about the potential hazards of leaking methane gas from the earth-covered rotting garbage, want the danger removed.
“We just want a safe environment for our students and for the people who work here,” Carroll College Vice President Tom McCarvel said.
City officials, leery of digging up something hazardous, want to cover the site and leave the garbage in place.
The garbage mistakenly was put on Carroll’s property some time between 1977 and 1982. At that time, city employees believed the city dump extended to a dirt service road. Public Works Director Kim Milburn believes the best course of action is to leave the area undisturbed, and possibly build some type of parking lot or playing field atop it.
Imposing limits on how the property can be used does not sit well with Carroll, McCarvel said. “We don’t know when we might need that acre. To say ‘Just use it for parking’ is hard for us to choke down.”