Little Milligan convenience center should open ‘within a month’

Published 8:14 am Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Star Photo/Brandon Hicks Despite weather setbacks, county officials hope to have the center open with in the month.

Star Photo/Brandon Hicks
Despite weather setbacks, county officials hope to have the center open with in the month.

Despite setbacks due to bad weather, county officials hope to open the Little Milligan Convenience Center within a month.

The convenience center will serve the Little Milligan and Elk Mills communities and allow those residents to take their garbage to the center rather than having to haul it all the way to the Carter County Landfill.

The finishing touches needed before the convenience center opens have been delayed by several snow storms which have moved through the area in the past two weeks.

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“If the weather will cooperate, hopefully we will be done and have it open within a month,” Carter County Landfill Manager Benny Lyons said.

The wiring inside the building on site is not yet complete and is being done by students in the electrical program at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) at Elizabethton. This not only provides free labor for the project, but helps provide the students with practical work experience.

There have been several days in the past two weeks where TCAT cancelled classes due to bad weather. That meant students and staff could not work at the convenience center, Lyons said.

“They have got all the boxes installed,” Lyons said. “I would say they are about 90 percent finished with the wiring.”

Once the wiring is completed, Lyons said the plumbing in the building will need to be finished. Then, he said, the interior walls of the building will be completed using inmate labor from the Carter County Jail.

While the landfill had purchased supplies for the work, the labor is being provided at no cost. “Everything we’re getting done is freebies,” Lyons said.

To complete the project, a utility pole must be installed at the site and a concrete pad needs to be poured. The pad will be used to set the roll off dumpster on so it does not sink into the ground, Lyons said. The weather has also delayed the installation of the concrete pad, he added.

The convenience center will be a big benefit to the community Lyons said. “Those folks need that up there,” he added. A convenience center was previously located in the Elk Mills community but the county had to shut it down several months ago. Plans were already in place for the new site in Little Milligan at that time but had been delayed due to funding issues.

Now, the project is nearing completion and Lyons said he is excited to be able to offer not only garbage disposal at the site, but another service as well.

“We’re going to put recycling in up there,” Lyons said. At first the center will collect paper, plastics, cardboard and tin and aluminum cans. Lyons hopes to add the ability to collect used motor oil at the site in the near future.