Mineral County considers further changes to landfill

CREEDE— Commissioners opened the first of the year meeting on Jan. 2 with a light agenda, commenting that during this time of year, business is slow and they appreciate the break before things get busy again.

The agenda began with a report by Road and Bridge Director Danny Rogers who agreed with commissioners about the start of the slow season in Creede. “Especially with no snow on the ground, the department has been slow, but we are keeping busy by grading roads and moving dirt where the roads need it,” Rogers.

Next, Rogers stated that commissioners need to set aside some time in the next few days to visit the landfill and discuss how they want to position a new pit for dumping. Rogers explained that the high wind and lack of snow has caused debris to spread around the area and that a new pit or repositioning of the existing pit would help solve the issue. Rogers also proposed seeing if the land that the county is currently trying to buy from the Forest Service could be used to which commissioners explained that the process of purchasing the land was only in the beginning stages and wouldn’t be an option.

Commissioners have recently been trying to work with Forest Service officials on a land purchase that would alleviate some of the concern on their end. The contract between Mineral County and the Forest Service, allowing the landfill to occupy the location it is in, expires in five years. If a land purchase or exchange cannot be concluded by that time, the Forest Service has already confirmed that the contract will not be renewed and the landfill will no longer be allowed to exist.

CDPHE requires a landfill to have a closure plan in place, which can cost the county a large amount of money. Engineering reports and surveys, plan revision and corrections, which only cover the existing pits, are part of the process. The process would have to be repeated if a new pit was formed. Having extra debris, either from demolition or from any other form of waste could lead to additional pits, another closure plan and more expenses.

Rogers wants commissioners to look at the site and see if they can come with a solution to stop debris from blowing out of the pit, stating that a land owner was having issues with plastic bags ending up on his/her property and that there is no way to fix the issue without moving the pit.

At the end of the conversation, Commissioner Jesse Albright suggested setting aside a block of time when the dump is closed, when they could visit the site. The rest of the board agreed and will visit the landfill in the next few days. The landfill permit runs out in the year 2020 and efforts to purchase land from the Forest Service will continue until an agreement can be reached.

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