ZELIENOPLE — A partnership among Zelienople, Harmony and Cranberry Township to build a composting center has received a big boost.
The state Department of Environmental Protection awarded Zelienople a $248,000 grant for the project.
The vision of Zelienople, Harmony and Cranberry is for the facility to compost brush and leaves, and for mulch materials to be sold to help pay for the cost to operate the facility.
Attorney Wes Hamilton, who has helped spearhead the project, said the grant can be used for site improvements and to help pay for a new building. The money could also help fund building an access road, running electric and water lines and making other improvements on the 3 to 4 acre site.
The next step will be to obtain firm commitments from the partner municipalities to get the facility done. None of them have officially committed to the project, said Hamilton.
The proposed site for the composting center is in Zelienople behind Northgate Plaza.
Don Pepe, Zelienople borough manager, said the facility would be situated on one of the borough’s former water reservoirs, which is being filled with dirt.
“It would be out of view of the public,” he said.
Now that the grant is in place, Pepe said it will be up to borough council to decide if or how the project will proceed.
Council is considering a new public works building in conjunction with the composting facility.
That building is estimated to cost about $1 million.
It could be tied to educational, classroom training and equipment storage space for the composting facility, said Pepe.
He expects council to take up the project in the next couple of months.