Letter to the Editor


December 17, 2020

Dear Editor,

To the residents of Crook County: I am asking each resident to contact the Crook County Commissioners and indicate your opinion concerning the forming of a solid waste district in Crook County. Moorcroft, Sundance and Pine Haven municipalities requested that the commissioners establish a solid waste district in Crook County at the December meeting.

The decision was pushed to the January meeting on the 6th at 2:30 p.m., requesting more information and what support or non-support exists for the forming of a solid waste district.

If a solid waste district is formed, the commissioners appoint a board of 3-9 persons from within the district to explore and bring back a recommendation for the best option for Crook County. The options would either to be to put an election to the voters to establish a mill levy to operate a landfill, or they could recommend that it is not economically feasible to operate a landfill in Crook County.

In case of the latter, the solid waste would have to be hauled to Campbell County, Casper or Belle Fourche S.D. If recommended to move forward, the voters would have to approve a mill levy, which would finance the operation of a landfill.

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has worked with Moorcroft to permit the current landfill located on Wind Creek. Moorcroft owns 150 acres at this location, which DEQ has indicated they would permit for a landfill.

A lined pit is what DEQ would permit going forward. The cost is approximately $3 million, which would last over 50 years or more. Moorcroft cannot afford to complete this pit and needs help. A solid waste district could finance and operate this landfill.

If Crook County does not move forward, DEQ will not continue to permit the current landfill without plans for a lined pit. If the landfill closes, all solid waste will have to be transported out of county. The cost to each resident in Crook County, in my opinion, would raise for each resident having trash hauled in Crook County.

I realize if we asset a mill levy that will cost also, but my feeling is that at least we would be in control of our own destiny. Who knows how far we will have to haul and at what cost?

The appointed board will research that for the commissioners/voters. I understand that some residents do not feel that they would get any benefit out of a regional landfill, however I believe that a majority of residents in Crook County would benefit for years.

I am asking that each resident contact the county commissioners or county clerk and voice your opinion. Remember that no costs are incurred unless the voters vote for a regional landfill.

We have an opportunity to have a say in our future costs of solid waste. If we have to haul out of county, someone else determines the costs.

If you have a couch or refrigerator, you can haul to the current landfill, which would be the case if a regional landfill is established. If we haul out of county each resident would have to pay someone to haul those types of waste out of county.

Several of the commissioners are suggesting to form a district of the three municipalities. This would exclude all of the residents living outside of the three towns. This small of a district could not raise enough revenue to support a landfill.

A district needs the industrial industries, pipelines, railroad, bentonite and uranium mines to help finance a regional landfill. Please contact the commissioners and, if able, attend the commissioner meeting January 6, at 2:30 p.m. Thank you and feel free to contact me regarding this issue.

Dick Claar


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