The Hepburn Shire Council could be forced to cough up more than $900,000 in order to address concerns raised by the Environmental Protection Authority about a former Creswick landfill site.
The EPA notified council of the need for works at the site in late 2016.
In the draft budget, which was released in April, council proposed a 8.3 per cent hike to the waste management charge, citing a “result of capital works required to comply with a pollution abatement notice issued by the Environmental Protection Authority for the closed Creswick landfill site”.
Following the release of the draft budget, Creswick Ward councillor Don Henderson said the cost of the landfill works would be at least $450,000 in order to install a new clay-base cap over the now vacant site at Anne Street.
While works are currently underway to build the new cap, the council could be forced to spend an extra $450,000 in order to install a leachate dam, which catches harmful liquids.
“If the EPA deem the cap and dam needs to be there then they’re doing it for a reason and it's important for the EPA to err on the side of public safety,” Cr Henderson said.
“It’s a thing that we have to do and we can’t put it off.
“If we manage everything properly (the dam may not have to be built) but we have to look at the worst case scenario.”
The increase was brought in to cover the $450,000 figure, with the additional $450,000 to come from the 2018/19 budget should it be required by the EPA.
The installation of the cap is required to be completed by the end of the year, while the further works would be completed across 2018/19
In a statement, EPA north west manager Dr Scott Pigdon said poorly managed landfill sites could still pose a risk to the community for decades after they were closed.
“EPA has a particular focus on the rehabilitation and ongoing aftercare management of closed landfills and works with councils to identify landfill sites within their municipalities.”