Mineral County signs resolution to purchase landfill

MINERAL COUNTY- During a meeting held at the end of September, Mineral County Commissioners passed a resolution to purchase the Mineral County Landfill, with additional acreage for expansion of the landfill in the future, from the United States Forest Service.

According to the resolution, the county will purchase the landfill property for $140,000. “WHEREAS, Mineral County and the United States Forest Service have agreed upon a price for the land for the amount of One Hundred Forty Thousand and 0/100 Dollars($140,000.00), which price was based on the opinion of a licensed appraiser, approved by the United States Forest Service and is a fair price for the property in the opinion of the Mineral County Board of County Commissioners. THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Mineral County Board of County Commissioners shall enter into an agreement to purchase the property constituting the current landfill from the United States Forest Service for the price of One Hundred Forty Thousand and 0/100 Dollars ($140,000.00).”

The original intention of the Board of Commissioners was to apply for DOLA funding for the landfill but the lower than expected appraisal of the landfill coupled with the timing of a potential grant award versus the expiration of the Forest Service Permit changed their minds and the decision was made to purchase the landfill without grant funds. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is pursuing opportunities for funding that will aid in covering acquisition costs as well as constructing a shooting range in the future.

According to Mineral County Administrator Janelle Kukuk, “Martha Williamson, Divide District Ranger, was present at a midmonth meeting of the Mineral County Board of County Commissioners Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019. She presented the Board the Final Decision Notice, Mineral County Landfill Townsite Conveyance. The decision, in layman’s terms, allows the Forest Service to convey 69.3 acres of Forest System Lands to Mineral County at market value. The capability is granted to the Forest Service through the National Forest Townsite Act. An application for the action was submitted by Mineral County in June 2017. In the subsequent two plus years, several analyses have been completed that include environmental, cultural and wildlife impacts. The results of these analyses were included in Finding of No Significant Impact, clearing the way for the process to move forward.

The current landfill sits on an approximate eight-acre portion of the 69.3 acres. The special use permit that the current landfill is operated under will expire on 12/31/2020 with no renewal options. The Forest
Service approached Mineral County several years ago to consider options for the County to ultimately
own the property outright.

The Forest Service also asked the County to consider a larger piece of land than the current 8 acres. The Board of Commissioners saw this offer as an opportunity to expand the landfill and ensure its longevity moving forward and considered that opportunity a boon for the County.

Additionally, the Forest Service suggested that by acquiring the larger piece of land, the shooting range,
now located near Dry Gulch on Forest System Lands, could be moved to this area. In the beginning of
the negotiations a land trade was explored, trading lands that the County owns near existing Forest
System Lands to the Forest Service in exchange for the property around the landfill. Unfortunately, the
cost of this option far outweighed the benefit of the trade and that idea was scrapped early on. This led
to the research, by the Forest, into the possibility of conveying the land for cash through the Townsite Act.”


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