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Powell, WY

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Transfer station on track

City council endorses North Ingalls site for trash facility

Construction of a garbage transfer station could begin as early as September — the same month the Powell landfill is slated to close to household trash.

Last week, Powell councilmen unanimously endorsed building the transfer station on North Ingalls Street, near the existing city sanitation department. The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality must still approve the project and site before construction can begin.

“If we’re allowed to do so, we could pour concrete later this year — probably late September is what we’re hoping for,” Gary Butts, city public services manager, told the Powell City Council last week.

In proposing the endorsement of the North Ingalls Street site, Councilman Jim Hillberry noted that the decision comes after years of work.

“We’ve discussed the transfer station project for upwards of — how many years now?” Hillberry asked.

“I’ve lost track,” Mayor Scott Mangold responded.

“We’ve gone through some rough times and everything,” Hillberry said. “The staff has recommended a location ... and I would like to make a recommendation that we endorse that recommendation.”

The city-owned property is zoned for industrial use.

Neighbors near the North Ingalls Street location have opposed a transfer station there. They told councilmen last month it will decrease property values and generally is unwanted in the neighborhood. They submitted a petition with 237 names following the council’s March meeting, but councilmen said they have received little or no feedback about the transfer station location since then.

The facility will be completely enclosed and will remain clean, say city leaders and independent engineers. The 8,000-square-foot station will serve as a temporary holding place for trash until it’s transported to the regional landfill in Cody.

The city says it will not need to hire any additional employees to operate a transfer station. As proposed, the facility will not be open to the public.

For years, Powell leaders have said a transfer station is the best way to handle city trash when the local landfill closes to municipal solid waste, rather than hauling it directly to the Cody landfill. City leaders estimate a transfer station will mean making one trailer haul to Cody a day instead of three daily trips with city sanitation trucks that aren’t designed for highway travel.

They say a transfer station will save residents money in the long run, given that the state is contributing grants.

Based on numbers given to the Powell City Council last week, a transfer station will save the city $106,595 per year. City leaders estimate that directly hauling trash to Cody with city garbage trucks would cost an additional $184,398 per year (for another full-time city employee, fuel costs, truck maintenance, tires and truck replacements). By contrast, they estimate a city transfer station will cost an additional $77,803 per year (for a private hauler, tires, maintenance and payments on a compaction trailer over 10 years).

“The disparity shows even greater, as we’ve always said, the higher the fuel prices go,” Butts said.

The State Loan and Investment Board has awarded $752,502 in grants toward the roughly $1.43 million transfer station project.

Mayor Mangold asked whether the project was proceeding with SLIB officials.

“We’re good. As far as the location, as far as the money, it’s all a go with the SLIB,” Butts said.

Butts said the state Department of Environmental Quality permit process also is proceeding.

“We hope to have the full DEQ permit in place in May, if not sooner,” he told the council.

From there, the department must review all the technical details, and it will take about 150 days to finalize the permit, Butts said.

“We are hoping to shorten that time, if possible,” he said.

DEQ officials haven’t voiced any concerns with the North Ingalls site, he said.

“We’re hoping to finalize with DEQ at least enough that we could have a full construction schedule within the next month,” he said.

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