A partnership between Harvey County and ICM for a research and development project came one step closer to reality Monday.


This story first appeared in the Dec. 23 edition of the Kansan.

A partnership between Harvey County and ICM for a research and development project came one step closer to reality Monday.

The county commission signed a one-year lease for a tract of land at the Harvey County Landfill, allowing ICM to pour a concrete pad and place a gassifier on the property.

The project was introduced to the commission last week — ICM already had state air permits and was ready to build the gassifier in Sedgwick County when they ran into a zoning issue.

Sedgwick County’s loss is Harvey County’s gain, as ICM will use its equipment to process wheat straw, corn stalks, bran and some solid waste into gasses that could be used to make electricity or fuel alternative energy production.

“Since last week, I’ve had a half dozen people ask why Sedgwick County didn’t want to do a research-and-development project like this,” said commissioner Ron Krehbiel. “And I was able to tell them that the county doesn’t have to pay one bit for this, and ICM may take on doing some MSW (municipal solid waste) as well.”

The gassifier, roughly 80 feet long and 36 feet high at it’s highest point, will not use an open flame to incinerate waste. Within the incineration chamber, the temperature will be between 1,000 and 1,200 degrees.

Roy Patton, county superintendent of solid waste, told the commission Monday ICM is ready to start pouring concrete and already has talked with Westar Energy to have electricity provided and metered.

“They are anxious to get started,” Patton said.

The land ICM will lease is about 50 feet away from where waste was buried in the landfill and will have access to a catch basin so ICM can use waste water to cool the gassifier.

“People need to know there is no trash under where they are going,” Patton told the commission.

In other business the commission:

• Approved new weight limits for several county bridges on Old Dutch Avenue, Northwest 60th Street and Burmac Road.

• Approved raising the fees paid to Harvey County 911 for alarms monitoring. Effective Jan. 1, fees will increase to $10 per month for residential alarms and $15 for commercial alarms. Each fee, initially established in 2001, was raised $3.

• Approved a bid of $591,926 for a bridge project on Ridge Road between First and 12th streets. Low bidder was King Construction of Hesston.