Newspaper Archive of
Lovell Chronicle
Lovell , Wyoming
September 5, 2013     Lovell Chronicle
PAGE 3     (3 of 18 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
PAGE 3     (3 of 18 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
September 5, 2013

Newspaper Archive of Lovell Chronicle produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2023. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.

September 5, 2013 I The Lovell Chronicle I 3 DAVID PECK The cardboard trailer, left, and the multi-bin trailer stationed at the Red Apple parking lot are filling rapidly each week, thanks to the success of the Lovell recycling program, but more help is needed to transport the material to Powell. BY DAVID PECK A local recycling advocate told the Lovell Town Council last Monday night that the Lovell recycling program is close to becom- ing a victim of its own success. After giving a brief history of the pro- gram during the Aug. 26 meeting, Chris- ty Fleming, the Chief of Interpretation at the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, said citizens are now placing about 600 pounds a week of cardboard in the card- board trailer and some 1,060 pounds per week in the multi-bin trailer, both of which are located at the Red Apple parking lot. That means the community is recycling 86,320 pounds or more than 40 tons of ma- terial per year. The trailers are hauled to the Powell recycling center by volunteers from Bighorn Canyon NRA, the U.S. Forest Service, the Town of Lovell and American Colloid. "It's a good problem, but it's a prob- lem," Fleming said. "There is such a need for recycling cardboard, and the trailer is not big enough to take business cardboard. And if the trailer is full, people pile (mate- rial) on top (rather than waiting until the trailer is empty). Our people are spending a half hour to an hour cleaning up before they can take it to the recycling center." Making a rough estimation, Flem- ing figures it costs volunteers and agen- cies (and AMCOL) about $7,000 total per year to take the material to Powell, and the return is minimal, monetarily. She said about $259 in recycling revenue was donated to the Lovell Volunteer Fire Dept. Christmas basket program from a year and a half time span. But she said the program brings people together and keeps nearly 90,000 pounds of waste material out of the North Big Horn County Landfill e ach year. But with federal sequestration hitting the National Park Service, Fleming said she is unsure whether the Bighorn Can- yon NRA staff can continue to shoulder the load (making the trip to Powell currently six times per month), especially as the pro- gram grows. Fleming said the Bighorn Canyon bud- get was reduced 5 percent for the current fiscal year, and the staff is being asked to cut another 8 percent for next year. She said recent park superintendents have been supportive of recycling in the commu- nity, including acting supt. Cassity Brom- ley, but future superintendents may see the effort "as a benefit that the Town of Lovell should be doing." "If there's an 8 percent cut, we will have fewer people to haul the trailer," Fleming said. "Do we haul the trailer or take care of the lawn at Horseshoe Bend? Or work the front desk at the visitor center? "We are totally willing to work on a solution. None of us wants to see this go away." Fleming also noted that the recycling center in Powell is struggling financially and would be damaged if material from Big Horn County were to stop coming over. She noted that, at one time, there was a discussion about the town using an old gar- bage truck to compact material, especially cardboard, which could then be more eas- ily transported to Powell. If a truck were available, more business material could be hauled, she said. Now, she said, cardboard almost has to be hauled three times a week, asking, "Is there a better way to transport it? Because the two little trailers are overwhelmed." Seeking ideas, Fleming wondered if more volunteers could be recruited and whether certain businesses could help. "We're at a critical mass," she said. "Ei- ther we don't do it anymore or we come up with a plan. We're at the end of the bridge. Either we jump off of it or we continue to build it." A bailer for cardboard has also been mentioned in the past, Fleming said, but she said such a device is too expensive to ever pay for itself unless a grant can be ob- tained for the purchase. A garbage truck would work almost as well, she said. Most people are very good about what they take to the recycling trailers. A tire was left recently, as was an old waterbed, but she said the latter item may have been an honest mistake. In the short term, Fleming said, the Park Service could simply use more vol- unteers to haul the recycling trailers to Powell until long-term solutions can be de- vised. She said people can sign up as vol- unteers for the Park Service and would be covered by the agency's insurance while hauling the trailers. "I would love eight volunteers to take the trailer once a month," she said. "There is a lot more cardboard in the community that is not being recycled." LOVELL TOPS FAMILIES LIST continued from page one followed by Sheridan, Af- ton, Powell, Lander, Buffa- lo, Worland, Cody and New- castle. Only places with a population of greater than 2,000 were considered in the analysis. According to a chart pre- sented in the press release, Lovell was given a score of 9 out of 10 by GreatSchools, has a median home value of $119,600, has monthly owner costs of $998, has a median household income of $49,013, showed income growth of 59.4 percent since 1999 and earned an overall rating from NerdWallet of 73.9. Lovell's GreatSchools score tied Sheridan and Af- ton at 9, and while the me- dian home value was sec- ond lowest (only Newcastle is lower) among the top 10 towns, the monthly owner costs are also second low- est at $998 with only Wor- land lower at $962 per month. Median household in- come was in the middle of the pack - higher than Sheridan, Worland and Cody but lower than Glen- rock, Buffalo, Newscastle, Afton, Lander and Powell. Lovell's income growth rate of 59.4 percent since 1999 was lower than Glen- rock, Buffalo, Newcastle and Powell but higher than Lander, Sheridan, Afton, Worland and Cody. COMMITTEE MEETS IN LOVELL continued from page one The next topic of dis- cussion was problems as- sociated with the imple- mentation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including an update of the impact of the act on Medicaid and other Wyoming Dept. of Health programs. The committee heard a report regarding the prog- ress the state has made in terms of creating a com- puter database to stream- line operations. The state has put close to $10 mil- lion, partially funded by a grant, into software and hardware to update com- puter systems to determine whether patients quali- fy for Medicaid under the current system. The idea is to interface with the feder- al system, with the goal of eventually determining eli- gibility for other programs that are connected with ACA. Those developing the system testified that they hope it will eventually cross check information regard- ing eligibility. Unfortunate- ly, the IRS has fallen be- hind in implementing their system and the ability to cross check against tax re- cords will not be available for a while. The committee also re- ceived an update on the Medicaid fraud detection unit, which was said to be functioning well. The fraud unit will also benefit from the new computer system. The committee looked at draft legislation for a plan similar to the "Arkan- sas Plan," which is a pre- mium assistance program that allows the state to use a market-based approach to fund health care for the poor within the state, as opposed to accepting a fed- eral Medicaid expansion carte blanche. It would al- low states to use federal Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance for low- income people on a state or federal exchange. Harvey said there were a number of benefits to this type of program. One big benefit is the fact that pa- tients would find it easier to find a provider because many providers do not ac- cept Medicaid patients be- cause of the low reimburse- ment rates. It would be better for the provider, as well, because the provider would be paid at a higher rate than they would re- ceive through Medicaid. It also teaches patients how to be cost effective in their use of emergency room ser- vices because their insur- ance policy would have certain rules for using ex- pensive services like an emergency room. The committee also called for the "Ask-a-Nurse" program to be beefed up as a means of educating Med- icaid and other patients on the effective and efficient use of medical resources. A draft of legislation was presented for members to review that will be fur- ther refined at a another meeting to be held in No- vember before it is voted on at the next legislative session. The draft was not made public. Issues involving the public health nursing pro- gram were also discussed, including the status of ne- gotiation with counties, the memorandum of under- standing process, the hir- ing, training and supervi- sion of supervising nurses and delivery alternatives that do not include county participation. The committee looked at ways to cut costs to bring the program budget in line after the recent loss of federal funds through mineral royalties. The loss of funding affects a portion of salaries, costs associat- ed with facilities and sup- port staff for the operation. It also discussed control issues that counties have over the programs, which are funded in part by the state and in part by the county. "A lot of counties are unhappy that they have no control over wages yet they have to: pay 35 percent, of those wages," said Harvey. "Many are concerned that they are liable for the op- eration but have no control over how it functions." (See related story.) An update regarding ways to retain and recruit medical professionals to the state was also discussed, including programs that have been reduced that al- low loan repayment, benefit programs offered and bud- getary trends. The report indicated that changes to the program have reduced the state's ability to recruit medical professionals. The committee also looked at Medicaid waiv- er redesign and discussed the possibility of redesign- ing the program to allow for two levels of assistance, a comprehensive level and a support level that have differing caps on spending, depending on individual needs. A review of a study of one of the most expen- sive health programs in the state, the Life Resource Center, included a discus- sion of how to reduce the costs of the program, which currently costs as much as $320,000 per person per year. That costs includes 250 employees that serve 85 people in the facility. The committee is looking at ways to reduce expens- es and the possibility of dis- persing some or all of the clients to other facilities. The committee heard testimony from the pub- lic on numerous topics that were discussed over the two days. Harvey said she was pleased to see so many come forward to express their opinion and offer their ideas for the committee to review. The hearing was basi- cally a work session and much of the discussion will continue in another session that will take place in No- vember before draft legisla- tion is refined and voted on in the next legislative ses- sion, which will take place the beginning of next year. DIST. 2 EXCEEDS AVERAGE continued from page one of test than PAWS in that it measures progress over the course of the school year with students taking the test at the beginning of the school year and then taking the same test at the end of the year. "Although we didn't meet our district goals in PAWS in all areas, improv- ing those areas will become part of the school improve- ment plan," said Curricu- lum Director Nancy Cerro- ni. "That's how we set our goals, that's how we use the data. What we do with PAWS is we use it as an in- dicator but we also keep in mind that it is a single test. What's important is to look at all of the tests and learn from that data." Cerroni said she thinks changes to the test, incor- porating the old standards and the new common core standards, may have affect- ed the scores. She said the reading portion, in particu- lar, was much longer than on previous tests and that it will take time for students to adjust to it. "We're still in the early stages of implementing the common core, so you have to honor that learning curve," said Cerroni. "I think the changes in the test impacted reading the most because of the length of the test. Also, the rigor of the test has gone up with the common core. Concepts are being brought down in grade levels, while at the same time the rigor has gone up. Essentially it raises the achievement bar and in the long run it will be good." Cerroni noted that statewide the scores were lower due to the field testing of common core concepts in- cluded in the test. "There wasn't a lot of dif- ference in reading between our third graders for exam- ple and the state, so that causes me not to have a huge red flag in that area, espe- cially since the same kids tested so well in MAP," she said. "The point is that you never look at a single test in isolation." Cerr'oni said the district looks at all of the informa- tion and that helps both ad- ministrators and teachers to help individual students. The different tests help the teacher look at the student's progress through a vari- ety of lenses over a period of time. "To me the essence of why we assess (test stu- dents) is to give us a good comprehensive picture of student achievement through time," said Cerro- ni. "If a student is down in a certain area, it is a call to ac- tion for us to provide an in- tervention in that area. As- sessment is always about improvement on two levels: at a systems level as a school or district and at the individ- ual student level." START A CHAIN REACTION KINDNESS. COMPASSION. CHARACTER. Come experience one of America's Lar, est Character Development Programs that has transformed millions of lives worldwide. Hear the true story of a remarkable young g{rl who believed her life would impact the world. You are invited to the presentation Tuesday, Sept. 10 7 p.m. Rocky Mountain Middle High School "In America, 160,000 students miss class every day for fear of being bullied." Visit www.rachelschallenge.org to learn more or call Belinda with Rachel's Challenge: 719-203-5706 DJ Wadq