On the latest episode of “WKTV Journal: In Focus”, WKTV’s public affairs show, we bring to the public a discussion with the Kent County official leading methane mitigation efforts at the closed Kentwood landfill — and the free testing available to property owners around the site. And, in the second in a series of interviews with Wyoming’s new city councilors, WKTV’s Ken Norris also talks with Rob Postema on his first few months on the job.
The new episode will air twice a week on WKTV channels starting this week and running through Sept. 22. Along with all episodes of WKTV Journal: In Focus, the new interviews are also available on YouTube at WKTVVideos.
In the interview with Darwin J. “Dar” Baas, Director of the Kent County Department of Public Works, he told WKTV that while about 150 property owners within 1,500-feet of the landfill’s western boundary are eligible for free on-site testing for methane, so far, only eight of the property owners have had their homes tested.
“We coordinate it, and then a local engineering firm — Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber — they actually come in and do the testing,” Baas said. “They have a form and a system that they use. Takes about an hour. It is very non-intrusive. For those that have had the testing done, they have been very pleased with how quickly we are in and out. And how well it goes.”
At the time of the interview, none of the tests had come back positive. The county is the point agency on the closed Kentwood landfill and methane mitigation efforts. Recently, the county announced expanded mitigation efforts.
In the interview with Postema, he talked about his long history in the city, including a stint as a member of the city’s planning commission.
“Planning commission is a good lead-in to being on city council,” he said. “You get involved with meeting with a lot of the citizens, at some of the public meetings, and you really get a good feel for how city government works. … But what you are really not prepared for is some of the other issues that they deal with, the non-zoning issues. I’ve had a great experience, so far, everybody views city council as ‘Its a team’.”
Postema, who was elected last year to represent the City’s Third Ward, grew up in Wyoming, attended Lee and South Christian high schools, graduated from Calvin College, and now works with his father and brother at an architectural and engineering firm in the city.
“WKTV Journal: In Focus” will started airing on Tuesday, Sept. 12, and will air on Tuesdays and Thursdays, at 6:30 p.m., on cable television in the Wyoming and Kentwood areas on Comcast WKTV Channel 26 and on AT&T Channel 99 Government channel.
Visit here for a YouTube video of the episode