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Lovell , Wyoming
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August 1, 2013     Lovell Chronicle
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14 I The Lovell Chronicle I August 1, 2013 Coun00 news Solid Waste approves budget, plans for no more Powell trash BY KARLA POMEROY The Big Horn County Solid Waste Board approved a budget that does not include additional revenue from Powell after Jan. 1. Board bookkeeper Cynde Braten reported to the board at the July 16 regular meeting and budget hearing in Basin that she put together a bud- get that includes the board charg- ing 3.9 cents per pound through De- cember while the county continues to accept Powell's trash. She said she changed the rate to 4.5 cents per pound starting Jan. 1 and took into account the loss in tonnage from Powell's trash. The board said Powell's contract to bring trash to the north land- fill will be honored through the end of 2013, but Powell has not made a decision regarding their trash af- ter Dec. 31. They likely will accept bids again, but there is information that Billings may bid on the trash at a price that Big Horn County could not compete with. Braten said she increased the amount for retirement in prepara- tion for the retirement of Nash Ras- mussen at the end of the calendar year. She also budgeted some addi- tional funding for raises if the board desired to approve raises. Board member Aaron Kania said usually they follow the county in re- gard to raises. Commission Chair- man Jerry Ewen said they were un- able to give longevity (step) raises or cost-of-living raises this year. Ron McArthur said, "How come Park County can give raises?" Commissioner Keith Grant said, with tongue in cheek, that he has asked the Park County commission- ers, since Park County was original- ly part of Big Horn County, to give Big Horn at least the sales tax from Yellowstone National Park. Park County generates more in sales and property tax due to higher valuation than Big Horn County. Braten said funding in freight increased in case the district would have to go out of state to get a scrap- er if the sheriffs office can find one in government surplus. The board approved a $954,775 expense budget with $42,850 for ad- ministration, $832,500 for opera- tions and $79,425 in indirect costs. Operations consists of $253,500 for personnel services including wag- es and benefits, mileage ($11,000), fuel and oil ($55,000), repair and maintenance ($105,000), engineering ($268,900), earth moving ($25,000), drug testing ($100), refrigeration evacuation ($1,000), utilities and other miscellaneous items ($13,000). In other financial news, Braten recommended moving the solid waste district's checking account to a local bank from First Bank of Wy- oming. She said Bank of Lovell will provide a higher interest rate than what they are currently receiving. Manager Gary Grant said they need to keep the checking account on the north end for daily deposits. There are three banks in Lovell, First Bank of Wyoming, Big Horn Federal and Bank of Lovell. Carl Olson moved to move all but $50,000 to Bank of Lovell. E1Ray Bridges voted against the motion. He earlier spoke in favor of First Bank of Wyoming and suggest- ed checking with all the local banks for their rates. Braten also suggested investing some of the fufids into CDs rather than have it just sit in the checking account. She will bring a recommendation back to the board at the next meeting. Board mulls options on future of county trash BY KARLA POMEROY After approving their an- nual budget (see related sto- W), the Big Horn County Solid Waste District Board discussed legal issues and op- tions for the future of Big Horn County's landfill and trash during the July 16 meeting. Commissioner Keith Grant said he recently spoke to Craig McComie, Wyoming Department of Environmen- tal Quality Integrated Solid Waste Management and State Recycling coordinator. He said McComie suggested the coun- ty put in an application for a transfer station in the north end, in addition to the appli- cation they have already filed for a transfer station for the south landfill. Grant said McComie would like to bring people to- gether again to begin discuss- ing a regional landfill for the Big Horn Basin. "I think Park County is having second thoughts in our discussions we've had with them," Grant said. Park Coun- ty had pulled out of the initial regional landfill discussions a few years ago. Grant also noted that there is some uncertainty about the county's non-lined status. He said Park County is contesting the DEQ ruling of Big Horn County not hav- ing to have a lined landfill. Park County has until Aug. 1 to let the DEQ know if they are moving forward with the appeal of the unlined ruling. If they proceed, a hearing will be conducted in Novem- ber. Grant said that while the DEQ will be representing Big Horn County's interests, he does not know how well the county will be represented in the hearing. If the hearing goes against the county, the county would be forced to line the landfill, which is very expensive. Grant said Park County said they would drop the ap- peal of the lining rule if the county would ensure it would not take Powell's waste after 2013. "What do we feel the real opportunity is to get Powell's waste for ailulz y wlLxL Billings is offering $30 per ton?" Grant asked. Another factor to consider is when the south becomes a transfer station the north end would become a Type I land- fill, he said. Type I requires daily coverage, which the county already does. Landfill Manager Gary Grant said a Type I landfill could also mean well testing of the groundwater. Board member Aaron Kania said he believes the dis- trict is in solid standing with the unlined ruling. He added that having Powell's trash has been a "shot in the arm" for budget revenues. He said he would hate to not be able to consider the benefit of receiving Powell's trash because the county is concerned about losing at the hearing. "It's a matter of how much it will cost us to succeed and if we do succeed do we have the benefit of getting Pow- ell's trash. He said he feels BHC could be the low bidder if Billings is not a factor. The board and commis- sioners went into executive session for further legal dis- cussions and in open session moved to engage Inberg-Mill- er engineer Howard Johnson as the engineer for the hearing and allow him to recommend an attorney he feels qualified to represent the county at the hearing in November. Kania then reported on field trip to the Pinedale trans- fer station. He said in his research he would recommend not baling municipal solid waste (MSW) but rather baling recyclables. "We have to do something with the south end sooner rath- er than later. I would suggest a hybrid system similar to Pine- dale. He said landfills that bale MSW have had maintenance issues with the balers. The south end transfer station would take MSW to Lovell and bring recyclables to the south end to bale, thus requiring only one baler. He noted the Town of Basin has seen consider- able savings in recycling and composting. North landfill operator Nash Rasmussen noted that about a third of Powell's trash this summer has been green waste (grass, weeds, etc.). Kania added that anoth- er possibility is transport- ing to Billings or a regional landfill for both the south and north landfills and still baling recyclables. He said items that would not have to be transported but could be separated out are wood, pallets, metal, glass, compost, concrete, cardboard, aluminum cans, steel cans, plastic and possibly tires. Grant said it sounded like a system would require more personnel. 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