With space cramped at its current facilities on north Hamilton Street, recycling on the rise and plans in the works for Powell Valley Recycling to operate a county-wide center here, commissioners cleared the way for the group to take over the shop …
Powell's recycling center looks to be moving a couple miles west, though such a transition is at least a year away.On Tuesday, Park County Commissioners voted unanimously to sell the county's Powell road and bridge shop to Powell Valley Recycling at a discounted price.
With space cramped at its current facilities on north Hamilton Street, recycling on the rise and plans in the works for Powell Valley Recycling to operate a county-wide center here, commissioners cleared the way for the group to take over the shop on Road 10.
The 7,200-square-foot facility is located almost directly across the street from Powell's Water Tower West, and would more than double Powell Valley Recycling's space.
The nonprofit organization requested the facility last week.
The shop sits on the same lot as the Search and Rescue building and impound lot for the sheriff's department.
However, those facilities would be subdivided off and retained by the county.
In return, Powell Valley Recycling likely will be asked to provide the proceeds from the sale of two additional lots they own on Ingalls Street, valued at roughly $60,000. The organization had been looking at expanding there, and the county previously had pledged $20,000 to help fund expansion on those lots.
The rest of the cost of the county shop — valued by the county assessor at somewhere around $185,000, with the Search and Rescue building included — could be written off as an in-kind contribution, commissioners said.
Powell Valley Recycling is seeking grants to help purchase the building, and Commissioner Jill Shockley Siggins said a higher building value would aid them in getting more money.
“To say we're going to sell our asset for only $60,000 doesn't put them in the best position for getting grants,” she said.
Commissioners said they would like to have an official appraisal of the Powell shop to get a firm figure.
Siggins said she would like to see the cities also contribute money toward Powell Valley Recycling's purchase of the county shop so it “isn't just the county moving them in.”
The city of Powell currently supports Powell Valley Recycling through surcharges on garbage bills ($1.50 monthly for residents) and by donating labor — such as by collecting cardboard from businesses. The city of Cody is considering a similar charge.
Last week, the county gave $20,000 to Cody's recycling operations and $5,000 to Meeteetse's to help cover the expenses of out-of-town residents who use the towns' recycling centers, but don't pay any fee.
Commissioners also discussed the possibility of simply leasing the shop to the Powell recyclers, because if the county continued to own it, state money could be spent on the building.
The shop is opening up because the county is building a new, larger Powell shop on Lane 9, further from the city's residential areas.
The $1.93 million project, slated for completion next July, will be managed by Groathouse Construction, commissioners decided on Tuesday.
However, County Engineer Dave Kieper noted that it will still be a year before his department moves its equipment out of the shop.
“It's hard to park that stuff on city streets,” Kieper quipped.
“The details of it all may take a few years,” added Commissioner Dave Burke.
Powell Valley Recycling Manager Mary Jo Decker said the shop would need some minor renovations before they could move in.
In other news regarding empty county buildings, the commissioners finalized a $4, four-year lease with the group seeking to create a Cody Heritage Museum. The museum would feature only locally-focused history, and be located in the old DeMaris house. The vacant 1908 building, owned by the county, sits on the corner of Sheridan Avenue and 11th Street, just a stone's throw from the county courthouse.
The museum group plans to throughly renovate and restore the DeMaris house and is pursuing a $192,000 grant from the Wyoming Business Council. A grand opening for the facility would tentatively take place Aug. 1, 2010.