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Commissioners echo worries of residents on new trash hours

May 29, 2012 - By Martin Reed, Staff Writer

Fremont County commissioners plan to send a letter to the solid waste district outlining their concerns with the severely limited hours of operation approved this month for most trash transfer stations.

Commissioners during their meeting on May 22 complained about the new hours for the transfer stations off the Wind River Indian Reservation.

Commission vice chairman Pat Hickerson echoed the concerns by residents of Atlantic City levied at the Fremont County Solid Waste Disposal District board meeting on May 14.

Hickerson, who serves as the commission's liaison to the solid waste board, said the drastically cut operation in Atlantic City "seems a little bit extreme."

"I just don't see how two days a month is workable. One or two days a week maybe," he said.

Some Atlantic City residents said they feared an abundance of garbage and littering in their community with the transfer stations opened two days a month.

Most trash transfer stations around Fremont County will have vastly decreased hours starting June 1 after the solid waste board voted to institute the new operational plan for the sites.

The transfer stations affected under the changes are Atlantic City, Jeffrey City, Hudson, Missouri Valley, Pavillion, Lysite and Shoshoni. The Dubois station is not affected.

Most of the transfer stations currently operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The new hours include two days a month in Atlantic City and Jeffrey City. Hudson, Missouri Valley, Pavillion, Lysite and Shoshoni will each operate three days a month.

The four trash transfer sites on the Wind River Indian Reservation -- in Ethete, Fort Washakie, Crowheart and on 17 Mile Road -- remain in negotiations for the two reservation tribes to take over their management from the solid waste district.

Hickerson called the switch from 24-7 service to just two days a week at some sites "pretty extreme."

He said the board was resistant to accommodating the concerns expressed by a couple from Atlantic City at the May 14 meeting.

"They didn't seem very interested in being flexible at their last board meeting," Hickerson said.

He suggested a meeting between the commission and the solid waste district with the topic of making the transfer stations "user friendly," noting "that concern is coming to me directly."

"It just seems like we ought to do something based on some reason and common sense," he said.

Commission chairman Doug Thompson questioned the solid waste district board's actions following community meetings held in various areas including Jeffrey City to discuss transfer station strategies.

Thompson said he felt bothered by the board members hosting the meetings before they "totally disregarded them to say two days a month. Was that community input a sham?"

He suggested "maybe a draft letter saying we're concerned about the two-day-a-month strategy" with the transfer stations.

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