GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - Garfield County commissioners intend to continue next Monday's scheduled public hearing on a controversial solid waste transfer station that's proposed near Carbondale, probably until early next month.
The delay is to allow county planning staff, the commissioners and the project's applicants to review a technical report from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) on the proposal.
Local trash hauler Mountain Rolloffs Inc. (MRI) is proposing the waste transfer station and recycle processing facility at the former coal loadout on County Road 100 (Catherine Store Road) east of Carbondale.
The 35-acre site, owned by IRMW II LLC, has been used for a range of light industrial activities since the former Mid-Continent Resources coal mines closed in the early 1990s.
Neighboring homeowner associations, as well as numerous Carbondale residents and the Carbondale Board of Trustees, have either opposed the plans or stated serious concerns about the proposal.
The Garfield Board of County Commissioners asked for the CDPHE report after opening the public hearing on the proposal in September. The matter had been tabled until next Monday's regular BOCC meeting. But the CDPHE report was just received late last week.
"That's not enough time to review and consider it for a Monday decision," Commissioner Mike Samson said at a regular BOCC meeting Tuesday, requesting that the public hearing be continued again until a proper review can be given.
As a matter of procedure, the commissioners are required to open the public hearing as scheduled on Monday. The board will accept the state's report and any other new information, although it will be up to the commissioners whether to accept any public comment. A possible continuance to the Dec. 3 regular BOCC meeting has been suggested.
County officials had also planned to use the time since the September meeting to evaluate options for a haul route to and from the site, and whether the Catherine Store Bridge on CR 100 would be able to handle semi-truck traffic.
MRI had initially proposed running semi-trucks full of trash through Carbondale on Highway 133 and Snowmass Drive to the county road. Residents and Carbondale town officials have adamantly objected to that plan.
The other option would be to run trucks out CR 100, across the bridge and directly to Highway 82. However, the county and MRI may need to partner to pay for upgrades or possible replacement of the bridge in order to accomplish that.
As proposed, the waste transfer station would take solid waste from local trash collection trucks, which would then be sorted on site. Semi-trucks would take the waste from there to area landfills within 24 hours.
Between three and five semi truck trips per day to and from the facility are anticipated to start, and up to 10 as the operation grows, according to project officials.