“Ever since the city learned we would have to take our trash somewhere other than the Powell landfill (which closed to household waste in September), staff and the council have been looking for the best, most financially viable place to take our trash,” said Powell Mayor Ron Valleyman. “It turns out that place is in the heart of one of our most-visited parks.”
The Powell Aquatic Center has run deficits since opening in 2010 and has been a challenge for the city’s budget. In addition, Powell leaders had been criticized by Park County commissioners for taking the city’s trash outside the county — to an unlined landfill in Cowley.
Now, the city’s trash will stay in Park County, and as Valleyman noted, the pool has a brand new liner. The move was welcomed by Park County commissioners, who indicated Monday they would like to see the former Aquatic Center become the regional hub for all the county’s trash. According to numbers crunched by Home, Plow and Co., a Cody engineering firm, it’s possible that trash disposal could become free given how efficient the new set-up promises to be.
Commissioner Bucking Grosscough said Park County, in turn, hopes to convert its empty, lined landfill cell in Cody into a recreational pool instead of using it for a trash pit.
“Landfills have generally been a lucrative business for local governments, but pools are basically a guaranteed money-maker,” Grosscough said in an April 1 interview.
When asked if the whole thing was a joke, he declined comment.