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Solid waste board set to discuss expiring rez trash contract

Oct 31, 2012 - By Christina George, Staff Writer

The Fremont County Solid Waste Disposal District Board of Directors will hold a special meeting next week to discuss solid waste management on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

The meeting is slated to begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, at the Lander landfill office.

Solid waste disposal district superintendent Andy Frey said he thinks the majority of the discussion will be held in executive session. However, there will be a public comment period and general discussion before the closed-door meeting.

The disposal district currently manages the four transfer sites on the reservation under a 1996 contract with the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes. However, the agreement expires Dec. 14 and a resolution has not yet been made.

After failed negotiations for a new contract, the disposal district voted in June to start a six-month termination notice on its trash disposal contract with the tribes.

Tribal representatives were asked to craft their own management plan under a proposed $375,000 annual fee, which is based on the amount spent by the disposal district to operate transfer stations at Fort Washakie, 17 Mile Road, Ethete and Crowheart.

Tribal representatives declined the proposal, saying it was too low an amount to operate the sites while also transporting waste to landfills and paying the fees of 4 cents per pound.

A second proposal involved the district continuing to manage the sites and transport the waste to landfills. Stipulations would include fencing in the sites, setting operation hours and tipping fees at the gate, and adopting the district's rules and regulations.

If a contract is not in place before the December deadline, the disposal district will no longer have the ability or right to operate the transfer stations on the reservation.