VILONIA — Vilonia is the host city for a monofill operation with hopes of reaping several benefits, although the actual operation will be located in an adjacent county. 

The Vilonia City Council held a special meeting Tuesday night and unanimously adopted a resolution accepting the site location of Arkansas Reclamation Company (ARC), allowing them to construct a monofill on 20 acres of land located about 3.5 miles north of the intersection at El Paso in White County. 

"I don’t see any negatives for Vilonia," said Mayor James Firestone prior to the council’s vote. "I questioned liability and expenses and there’s none. It looks like a very positive thing for us."

Located adjacent to the quarry operations of Webco Mining, ARC plans to utilize existing quarry roads for ingress and egress and is surrounded by property owned by Charlie Weaver of Webco, Inc. Two representatives from ARC as well as Weaver were on hand to field questions and provide information.

The company plans to accept treated drill cuttings on the property resulting from the Fayetteville Shale operations, further process the materials, as well as explore ways of recycling including the possibility of it being  used as road based material for select sites. 

"I know this could make some county judges happy," said Chuck Richesin of ARC, addressing the council.

Richesin also specified the facility will be designed and operated under the guidelines of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.

"This is not something we can start doing tomorrow," he added. 

The operation is already being done, he said, in Texas and Oklahoma which are "net negative" states where "it evaporates more than it rains." However, he said Arkansas does not fit into the category and this will be the first operation of its kind in Arkansas. The Arkansas operation, he said, will include a dual liner including a clay liner and a membrane liner. There is also to be a "leachate" collection center for any rainfall that "could" escape, he said.

"With this double liner system, nothing is going to leach out of this ground though," Richesin said.

In addition creating nine to 12 jobs, it is anticipated between 400 and 500 tons of drill cuttings per day will be sent to this facility. As the host community, Richesin said, the city of Vilonia could see a "host fee" amounting to between ten cents to $1 per ton in the coffers.

"We need to get a little further along and see the cost of the operation," Richesin said. 

Vilonia was selected as the host site, Richesin said, because of its proximity. It is the closest incorporated city within 12 miles of the planned operation, he explained. As the host community, Vilonia will also serve as a liaison between the company and the public.

Should the landfill be closed, the company is required to put up a bond, that would cover the cost of the proper closure.