Planning Commission to consider landfill

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The operator of Routt County's only landfill is asking to more than double the facility's size so it can operate for another 68 years.

The Routt County Regional Planning Commission tonight will consider a request from the Twin Landfill, which sits on 240 acres about 1 mile southwest of Milner and is owned by Les Liman.

Now, the landfill takes up about 36 acres, but it will reach capacity under its current permit within a year, according to the planning report.

The proposed expansion would increase the landfill area to 86 acres, according to the report. The height of the landfill would be increased by up to 200 feet over the existing grade.

The proposal also is asking for additional facilities, including a composting area, a nonhazardous liquid waste solidification basin, and a gravel extraction, screening and crushing operation for landfill use only.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment has approved the design and operation plan for the proposed expansion, according to the report. The department requires the landfill to keep a trust fund for final reclamation and post-reclamation maintenance, which has a balance of $442,000 now.

The Planning Commission will make a recommendation on the proposal, and the Routt County Board of Commissioners will have a final decision May 10.

County Planner John East--man said he has not received any comments from people opposing the expansion. All Milner residents were notified of the expansion, he said.

A letter from Steve Stamey, director of planning services for the city of Steamboat Springs, identified concerns on the city's behalf. Those include visual effects from U.S. Highway 40, adequate site reclamation and potential for environmental contamination.

Eastman said he received a letter from Ronald Ravenscroft, who said he was in favor of the expansion, as it would provide for the county's landfill needs in the coming decades.

The Twin Landfill has been the main place to dispose waste in Routt County for 30 years, according to the report.

The site is centrally located in relation to the county's population centers, has good access via U.S. 40 and some natural screening, the report states. The proposed expansion would not greatly increase traffic in the area. There are no residences on Routt County Road 205 at this time, which the landfill is off of.

Eastman has suggested the Planning Commission consider approving a permit that would last through the first phase of the expansion or for 20 years, while acknowledging there is a second phase.

The landfill is about a half-mile from U.S. 40. Phase 1 expansions should not be too visible, Eastman said. In Phase 2, a knoll that partially blocks the landfill would be knocked down, and the landfill would be raised to twice the height of that knoll.

But visual effects may not be a problem, he said.

Also at tonight's meeting, the Planning Commission will review a request from Nancy Cook to run a veterinary clinic and equine-reproduction facility on 86 acres 2.5 miles south of Steamboat Springs on C.R. 14.

The Planning Commission will consider those applications at 6 p.m. in the Commissioners Hearing Room of the Court--house Annex.

-- To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail scunningham@steamboatpilot.com

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