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HELPING HANDS 8-8-16 LMS

A volunteer property cleanup gone awry was explained to the Lemhi County Commissioners during their August 8 meeting and the county has agreed to lend a hand.

JoAnn Malac gave the board a brief history of a house on Idaho Street which burned a couple of years ago. She said she became involved because the heirs to the property needed help clearing the debris and attendant ownership issues.

Malac, a resident of Clayton, said she was making good progress cleaning the property by hand and making many runs to the landfill. Unbeknownst to her and without her permission a person who had expressed interest in obtaining the lots entered the site with heavy equipment and knocked down the house remains which are now strewn all over the property. She said no intentional harm was meant but due to the destruction the project has surpassed her senior citizen abilities, created an imminent hazard and the volunteer project has suddenly entered the heavy equipment stage. Malac said neither she nor her sister Dorothy, who has been helping with the cleanup, has the financial means or strength to do what now needs to be done.

Malac is a realtor and said she has assumed responsibility for the property. For a time she rented a dumpster from Lemhi Sanitation. She said it has been confirmed there is no asbestos in the materials. She said their very long term goal is to perhaps eventually build a new house on the old foundation.

The property consists of two parcels. An old cabin sits on the second parcel and Malac is researching its history. She has interviewed area long-timers and has filed a 501c3 non-profit application based on the potential historical value of the cabin.

Malac asked if, in the community’s interest, the county could lend some heavy equipment and labor to help with the cleanup. The commissioners said this is the busiest time of the year for Road and Bridge equipment and manpower but said they would be willing to waive the land fill dumping fee for the material disposal. The board also suggested approaching the city with their assistance request and perhaps some local civic or church groups.

They thanked the commissioners for their time and for the landfill fee waiver.

Other business before the board included an official request for a drought declaration. Thayne Kauer presented the required documentation which the commissioners will sign and send on to Governor Otter. The paperwork included official Leadore weather records. He said the area is much drier than last year and is as dry as it was in 2013-14. Kauer said a drought status will allow transfer of a current water right so it can be used elsewhere to keep fields wet.

Landfill Manager Ken Boese submitted a request to purchase Muck Boots for facility employees. He said the Bentonite terrain destroys the stitching on regular work boots. The commissioners asked him to research prices. He also requested a clothing allowance for employees, based on their type of work environment and the commissioners said they would consider it. Boese said he has already purchased safety vests.

As far as current projects he said crews are moving dirt in the closure process of several cells. Once all are covered, vent pipes, gravel and seed will be installed.

The good news of the day was that the Department of Environmental Quality is pleased with the progress being made on landfill issues the department identified as needing to be fixed.




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