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Concerned Citizens Voice Opinion on Burley's Transfer Station During County Hearing

Chad Harris signs in Oct. 16 at the Cassia County Planning and Zoning hearing.

LAURIE WELCH, the voice

BURLEY — Burley officials presented Cassia County commissioners with a feasibility study April 16 looking at options for a waste transfer station for the city.

Burley residents already pay county waste transfer fees although they do not receive those services.

“This is the latest chapter in the discussion of putting a transfer station in the Burley area,” said Mark Mitton, Burley’s city administrator.

Along with comparing site options, the study compares costs at the sites and outlines possible cost splits between the city and county.

The city would like the county to help with the costs of the project.

Mitton said although some residents near the preferred site opposed the project, the city has received a lot of feedback from Burley residents who want it.

“It’s a minimum of an hour out and back to the landfill, and we’ve gotten a lot of feedback from people who want access to a transfer station,” Mitton said.

Jason Broome, an engineer with Forsgren Associates Inc. — the company commissioned to perform the study — said they examined four sites that include the preferred 10-acre site at 275 W. Idaho Highway 30, on property the city already owns.

The other three locations were at the city service center property on Parke Avenue with a public access, at gravel pits on Washington Avenue at 18th Street, and they looked at building a smaller transfer station on the service center property that would allow only use by the city, which would not have public access.

The study also examines three capital cost options.

The overall costs for the preferred site are the highest at $3.63 million. Other alternatives come in at $2.53 million to $3.57 million.

The report lists operation and maintenance costs for each site along with possible variations on city-county divisions of costs.

Although the preferred site does not have the lowest capital costs or annual operation and maintenance costs, it has good access for citizens and city garbage trucks and it is the “ideal location” for trucks going back and forth to the landfill and is the one the report recommends.

The engineers used a matrix system to rate all the factors for each site.

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The commissioners and city council will meet again to discuss the study on May 14 at the Cassia County commissioner’s chambers.

“That’s a lot to digest,” Commissioner Paul Christensen said.

Christensen suggested including the Southern Idaho Regional Solid Waste District officials in any future meetings.

In 2014, the city cleared its first hurdle in the project when the commissioners approved a zoning ordinance change to allow the transfer stations in an industrial-commercial zone with a conditional use permit.

In January 2016, the city approved spending the $26,500 for the feasibility study after the county requested it.

The city has considered the station for several years to give its overworked garbage trucks a break: They haul city trash 14 miles to the landfill.

During meetings on the ordinance change that would pave the way for the station, residents near the preferred site on U.S. 30 near McCain Foods hotly contested the transfer station.

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