Landfill facing last days

By Grace Moore

A meeting between members of the Moorcroft governing body was held in Gillette last Thursday to discuss available options for the quickly filling town’s landfill on Wind Creek Road east of town. The meeting included Mayor Steve Sproul, Councilmen Dick Claar and Owen Mathews, Public Works Director Cory Allison and Clerk/Treasurer Cheryl Schneider; HDR Engineering’s Heath Turbiville; two representatives from private landfill contractor TDS and five members of DEQ out of Casper.

According to Claar, the entire 100-plus acres the town owns for the landfill is in fact already permitted, but each cell opened must be individually designed and submitted to the DEQ to be further permitted.

The landfill will be officially full as of the end of this year, but, “They told us that they’re not going to automatically shut off on January 1. We’ll have a little leeway,” said Claar. Unfortunately, DEQ told those present that Moorcroft is not eligible for any grants for the landfill because the median income in Moorcroft is too high.

By October 1, however, the DEQ wants to know what the town has in mind for a plan for either a cease and transfer or a new cell. Claar said, “If we take the state money for the cease and transfer, they would never permit Moorcroft to open a landfill out there again.”

TDS, a private company that the mayor introduced to the council, plans to offer a proposal at the next regular meeting. According to Claar, TDS believes that they could install a cell and for less than the $4 million that HDR had recommended.

“We’ll see what their proposal is. If it’s something we can afford, perhaps then we go to Sundance and Pine Haven and see if they’re interested in putting some money up, go get some grants and loans,” Claar said.

Allison suggested, “If we had a pit and opened it up, we’d get more solid waste than we think because Victory would haul over here. It’s kind of like the field of dreams – build it and they will come, but until you have it, they’re not going to come.”