Powell, WY


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Transfer station gets funding

City of Powell garbage customers are off the hook for more than half of the estimated $1.23 million cost of constructing a transfer station to handle the city’s trash when the Powell landfill closes next year to household waste.

As expected, the State Loan and Investment Board — made up of Gov. Matt Mead, Secretary of State Max Maxfield, Treasurer Joe Meyer, Auditor Cynthia Cloud and Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill — voted Thursday in Cheyenne to award $652,502 to the city of Powell to put toward a garbage transfer station.

“We’re going to come out with a pretty good savings on it (the transfer station),” said Powell Mayor Scott Mangold, calling the Federal Mineral Royalty Capital Construction Account grant “a break” for city residents.

Mangold met privately with four of the five state officials on Wednesday — all but Hill — to “make sure there weren’t going to be any glitches or anything.”

“It was very well received by all of them,” said City Engineer Sean Christensen, who accompanied Mangold on the trip.

Christensen attended Thursday’s SLIB meeting in case any of the board members had questions or he had to argue Powell’s case, “but it wasn’t needed this time,” he said.

Unlike past meetings, the city’s grant was one of those recommended for approval by State Loan and Investment Board staff, and the board members had no questions before approving the city’s grant.

Mangold said it was nice to have someone from Park County on the state board in the form of Cody-accountant-turned-Auditor Cloud.

“She was helping us and did a pretty good job of leading the charge,” he said, adding she toured the proposed transfer station site earlier this year.

The city is moving forward with plans to build the transfer station on 26.5 acres it owns east of Powell near the junction of Lane 9 and Road 7; an alternate 2.5 acre industrial site is no longer an option.

Mangold said a large part of the city’s share of the $1.23 million cost will be through in-kind contributions — specifically the land it already owns and preparatory work.

City leaders say building a transfer station is the best way to handle Powell’s trash when the local landfill closes to household trash next summer; Park County commissioners found upgrading the Cody landfill and closing the others was the most cost-effective way to meet more stringent state Department of Environmental Quality regulations protecting groundwater.

Mangold said Powell is among the first to seek help through a grant from the State Loan and Investment Board for dealing with a landfill closure, but it won’t be the last.

“If you look at the DEQ and their landfill closures, you can kind of tell which towns are going to come in and be needing help,” said Mangold.

The city is planning to ask for more state money later this year to help purchase a roughly $165,000 compaction trailer for the transfer station. City leaders didn’t include the component in this application because the SLIB had previously nixed proposals that included the trailers as part of a ban on “rolling stock.” However, the state board on Thursday also changed their regulations to make trash disposal-related rolling stock eligible for grant funding.

That was good news for Meeteetse, as it cleared the way for it to receive other SLIB money to buy a new trash truck; the SLIB rules had threatened to scuttle a plan by Park County, Powell and Cody officials to give Meeteetse a disproportionate $130,000 share of state money for a new truck. The town has had to haul its garbage to Cody since the Meeteetse landfill closed last summer.

Mangold said getting the SLIB grant was important for Powell.

“I don’t like to think about us not getting it. It would have definitely cost money,” Mangold said. “Just ask Meeteetse.”

He hopes some work can be completed before winter.

“I think we’re going to have to get going with a bidding process right away,” Mangold said. “I’m hoping next month.”

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