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Monday, September 12, the Lemhi County Commissioners heard how all county departments are busy getting ready for the change of seasons.

Emergency Services personnel are preparing for an upcoming drill that will test county preparedness and Building Maintenance Supervisor Russ Dalley is busy with overseeing a project involving concrete steps and railings, weed spraying, preparing the grounds and sprinkler systems for cold weather and installation of some new exterior and interior lighting. He expects to start on his Winter list of projects next month.

County Building Inspector and Planning and Zoning Administrator Gary Goodman also reported a very busy season with two and three inspections a day being performed at the new Steele Memorial Medical Clinic as ongoing tests are conducted on systems as they are being put in place.

Goodman is also in charge of the county’s complex telephone system upgrade now in progress. He said for the most part the transition is going smoothly. Goodman said there have been some county e-mail issues related to the present e-mail system not accepting bulk mailings which for many departments are an important part of county communications. He suggested, and is researching, the possibility of buying a domain for the county and subscribing to a service to run it.

A little later in the meeting Goodman and 911 Addressing Specialist Polly Anderson made a special trip to the Commissioner’s Meeting Room to thank the board for spending the money to make their jobs easier. The gesture surprised and pleased the commissioners.

According to Landfill Manager Ken Boese that facility is so busy he could keep two people occupied just doing recycling. Speaking of workers he had very high praise for the caliber of work being done by employee Tom Winters who he said really goes the extra mile.

Boese listed recent equipment needs and repairs, including the need for a replacement Freon recovery system, and said his crew is swamped with work. He told the commissioners that most landfills employ an Administrative Manager plus an Assistant Supervisor and he’d like the commissioners to consider that kind of arrangement because, “There is just not enough of me to go around.”

On another subject he said the road to the landfill needs to be capped. Boese said he is getting a lot of complaints about the road’s washboard conditions and washed out areas from landfill patrons. He said he also needs fill materials from the Road and Bridge Department to finish the upper road to the top cell.

A Horizontal Shredder is scheduled to do demonstrations on September 14 and 15. Boese said he has invited the Department of Environmental Quality, the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service and placed announcements on the radio inviting people to witness the machine in action.

Use and abuse of the five trash transfer sites in the county plus hauling that refuse to the landfill is the facility’s biggest budget expense. A Landfill Advisory Committee is researching revenue options that could be employed to offset the financial drain.

At the September 12 bi-monthly meeting County Commissioners John Jakovac, Rick Snyder and Ken Miner held a workshop on the subject with Boese and Landfill Advisory Committee member Ray Henderson.

Snyder said it was determined at the first Advisory Committee meeting that the transfer sites are needed and should remain. In addition it was decided the sites need cameras, fencing and signage. Under discussion are such things as yearly key holder fees as well as new keys for dumpster site users and initiating fees based on weight for refuse hauled to the landfill.

Boese stressed the need to follow through with established penalties for illegal dumping.

Jakovac presented a sample questionnaire for the purpose of collecting public input. The board decided it may be used when more definitive information is gathered and made available.

Miner emphasized the need for all entities to work together to formulate the new policies. Details have not been made definite as yet and the public will be kept informed through publications, public input meetings and comments as final decisions are made.

Henderson contributed the information that 787 tons of trash is hauled annually to the landfill from the transfer sites. He said that is around nine percent of the total yearly volume. He went on to say Blue Mountain brings 1804 tons to the landfill per year from Custer County which equals 21 percent of the total landfill volume and Lemhi Sanitation delivers 58 percent of the household trash yearly total. Commercial deliveries constitute another 21 percent.

The Landfill Advisory Committee will be reconvened in the Brooklyn Annex September 21 at 7PM, updated as to what was discussed at the workshop and asked for input on the ideas.

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