Planners recommend landfill expansion

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The Routt County Planning Commission unanimously rec--ommended approval for an expansion of the Milner Landfill. The expansion would allow the landfill to operate well into the future.

Under that expansion, the landfill would be able to accept 8.6 million cubic yards of waste. It currently holds about 1.1 million cubic yards.

The proposed expansion is to be mostly vertical, which landfill representatives said would have less environmental effects than a horizontal expansion. The landfill would increase from 36 acres to 86 acres in area.

Planning commissioners also recommended for approval the request for composting and liquid-waste solidification facilities at the landfill, and for a gravel pit for onsite landfill purposes only.

The permit was recommended to be approved for the life of use, as requested by owner and operator Les Liman.

All planning commissioners agreed on the time condition, saying that the landfill is an important asset to Routt County. It is the only landfill in Routt County.

"I think we should lock this thing down," Planning Com--missioner Terry Hunter said.

The Routt County Board of Commissioners will have the final decision on the amended permit May 10.

Kip White, landfill engineer with KRW Consulting Inc., showed a projection of what the landfill should look like when it is finished and reclaimed. In the illustration, the finished landfill's green hump seemed to fade into the rolling hills.

Several residents attended the meeting. Most spoke in favor of the landfill expansion and supported a permit that would last as long as possible.

A few urged planning commissioners to have guards in place to ensure that the landfill would not result in excessive noise, odors or eyesores.

Bud Romberg said that a long-term approval would be fair to people who considered developing property near the landfill. He also said a long-term landfill in Routt County was much needed.

"As population grows, so will the need for waste disposal," Romberg said.

Ben Beall agreed that approval of the landfill should be for the long term.

"Just to let people know, let the county residents know ... that this is for the life of the use of the landfill," Beall said.

Karin Utterback-Normann said that, as an adjacent landowner, her main concern was possible noise from the added facilities, including liquid-waste solidification and gravel crushing.

She said her hunting and fishing operation relies on a peaceful environment. She urged the Planning Commission to make sure the landfill's operations would meet county guidelines on noise.

Before the Planning Com--mission's approval, Liman reminded planning commissioners that the county's waste had to go somewhere.

"What are you going to do with that waste if you don't put it there?" Liman asked.

In related business, the Planning Commission recommended for approval a proposal for an equine-reproduction facility and associated veterinary services on 84 acres on Routt County Road 14.

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

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