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March 08, 2012 9:00 am

Transfer station in the city?

Written by Tessa Schweigert

City leaders consider site near sanitation department, informational meeting March 19

Rather than hauling trash to a rural transfer station or distant landfill, city sanitation trucks may take garbage right back to their starting point — the City of Powell Sanitation Department.

City leaders are considering building a garbage transfer station near the current sanitation department at 413 N. Ingalls, near the eastern water tower.

“Given the cards we’ve been dealt, this seems like our best option at this point,” said City Administrator Zane Logan on Tuesday.

Until recently, it wasn’t an option at all. In January, the city purchased two lots adjacent to the sanitation department from Powell Valley Recycling for roughly $45,000. That acquisition increased the city-owned land at the site to 60,000 square feet — or nearly 1.5 acres.

Powell Valley Recycling had used the land to store recyclables, such as cardboard and aluminum cans. The site should not be confused with the old recycling center across from the fairgrounds. That building, located on Hamilton Street and owned by Park County Boys and Girls Club, now houses The Gym.

The Powell landfill is slated to close to household waste in September, and the city’s trash will need to be trucked to the regional landfill in Cody. With a transfer station, city trash trucks will simply dump their loads into a sealed trailer inside the station, and when it’s full, the bin will be hauled to the Cody landfill. City leaders have estimated that having a transfer station will mean making one trailer haul to Cody a day instead of three daily trips with city sanitation trucks.

The city’s plans for a transfer station hit a roadblock last month when Park County Commissioners rejected a request to rezone city-owned property near Lane 9 and Road 7. That rezoning was necessary for the city to build a transfer station at the rural site.

With the preferred site off the table, city employees started examining other possibilities.

“We said we’re not going to give up,” Logan said. “And when that land deal came about, we thought, this is an opportunity that’s maybe meant to be.”

Originally, the intent was to use the land as added space for the city’s sanitation and streets departments, said Gary Butts, city public services manager.

“As it turns out, it was a good investment,” he said.

City councilmen discussed the land purchase with Powell Valley Recycling last fall, and the deal was finalized in January.

“By the time the land was officially available to purchase from PVR, it was obvious that there was going to be an issue with county approval for the necessary zoning and special use permit,” Logan said.

County commissioners voted 3-2 to deny the city’s request on Feb. 7.

As city staff have looked at alternate transfer station sites, the property adjacent to the sanitation department “is looking more and more feasible,” Logan said.

For starters, it’s owned by the city. It also has three-phase power and other city utilities — something a proposed site at the current Powell landfill lacked. It’s also already zoned for industrial use — unlike the rejected site at Lane 9 and Road 7.

Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality officials have given the site a cursory nod, but as part of the process for DEQ approval, the city is hosting an informational public meeting on the proposal. That meeting is slated for 7 p.m. Monday, March 19, at City Hall.

Logan said city leaders want to explain to neighbors in the vicinity and other local residents what the proposed transfer station will look like and how it will function.

Logan said a transfer station — consisting of equipment stored in an enclosed steel building — likely will mean few changes for people residing in the area.

“In the industrial zoned area, the activity will be very parallel to what’s been done there for years — it’s the exact type of function and activity that’s been going on there,” Logan said.

The city also would do landscaping at the site.

“It would be a nicer, cleaner building than what was there,” Logan said. While folks may initially assume a transfer station is like a landfill, he said that’s a misconception.

“We care about making it look right and being sensitive to our neighbors, whether in town or out of town,” he said.

A downside to the Ingalls site is an elevation issue, Logan said. He compared a transfer station to a split-level house. A truck drives into the upper level of the building and dumps its contents into a compaction trailer on the lower level.

The Lane 9 and Road 7 site was a better set-up for a two-level building, but Logan said engineers will analyze the possibilities of this site. The city also will look at customized transfer station equipment that could help alleviate elevation concerns.

Though smaller than the rural location, Butts said the proposed city site has ample room for a transfer station.

“One acre (43,560 square feet) is more than enough for a typical site,” Butts said.

The city has more than that available, with 60,000 square feet adjacent to the sanitation department, plus contiguous city-owned property, Butts said.

“The rural site was bigger, but had the county commissioners wished to partner with the city, it would have been needed space,” he said.

The State Loan and Investment Board has awarded $752,502 in grants to pay for the roughly $1.43 million transfer station. The city notified SLIB officials of the new potential site and their approval remains valid, Butts said. DEQ officials and the Powell City Council also must approve the site.

The earliest the city could start on the project would be in the fall, Logan said.

It will take time to purchase the equipment, and the DEQ approval process could take from six months to a year.

“We know the clock is ticking on the Powell landfill,” Logan said. “Obviously, we’re trying to get going as soon as we can to reduce the number of months we have to direct haul somewhere.”

5 comments

  • Comment Link March 10, 2012 8:18 am posted by yogi and suzanne kobbe

    I want to ask zane logan, and all that think ingalls is a good area for the transfer station.. DO YOU WANT THIS STENCH IN YOUR FRONT YARD ??... I will venture to say the answer is, HELL NO! come on, the recycle center was bad enough, noise,stench, trucks pulling in and out of my personal driveway cracking my cement! and.. " a misconception " the recycling center also had a horrible STINK! This will be the same thing, it will still stink! PUT IT OUT BY THE SEWER LAGOONS! OH..wait, the people that live out there DONT WANT IT EITHER!!!!!!!!!!!!! THere has got too be a better place!!!

  • Comment Link March 15, 2012 9:36 pm posted by elk hunter

    to be hounest i have lived here my whole life of 31 years and no offence to anyone powell has went right down the tubes in many ways, its not the same, the people, the attitudes, effort from people to get along like we should and the drinking needs to go! Pesonally this sanitation and dumping thing of trash should have been delt with a long time ago when we found out about the land fill..we should have had something figured out when we figured the problem but now the clocks tickin and we havent found no where to go..really were thinkin bout movin, wow powell has no where round for trash? I might as well move to the big city where there are more job options cause this garbage jus aint workin out, no reason to stay anymore, powell is not the powell i know so me and my family are outta here!

  • Comment Link March 15, 2012 9:45 pm posted by Shawn Stingley

    I say we put it in zanes back yard! ya, that will smell great when I go to the fair to enjoy a prime rib sandwhich..Its gonna smell like the cattle incorporated but o yea they were smart and dident build it in town...look out folks ur houses will be worth nuthin but a few dollars, who the heck wants to purchase a home next to all the towns trash? I want an answer zane!

  • Comment Link March 15, 2012 9:54 pm posted by Shawn Stingley

    I dont have kids but i wouldent want my kids smelling that at the boys and girls club! I cant belive that its even in the citys consideration! I use to be proud to be part of powell but now i jus feel like im living with a bunch of trash!

  • Comment Link March 18, 2012 11:51 am posted by Susan Griffith

    We need to come together as a community to stop this. Please come to the city council meeting on Monday the 19th at 7pm. The Transfer Station is obviously needed, but there is no reason it needs to be located so close to the schools, parks, and resident homes; no matter what the zoning is or what property the city owns and has purchased. North Ingalls street is always busy with kids walking up and down the street. On school days, if you drive down Ingalls during lunch time, there is almost always high schoolers walking right down the middle of the street to get to Maverik. During the summer, there are kids all over. Semi trucks and increased garbage truck traffic on this street is something we do not need. Not to mention the property value loss we will have. It just needs to be located somewhere else: out by the new water tower on the west end would be perfect. With restore and the recycle center, and away from residents and all the pedestrians. Please come to the meeting!!!!

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