Of all the choices facing voters in the Nov. 6 election, none is easier than Proposition #3, the proposal to clean up and cap the old landfill south of town and begin planning a new trash transfer station.
The price tag is steep — $14.5 million in sales tax revenue — but the county has to take action, facing a deadline from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality. As this video illustrates, toxic chemicals are leaching from old trash into groundwater and eventually could contaminate the Snake River.
County residents either can pay for the cleanup via sales tax — with tourists bearing their share — or property tax.
The ballot measure also would pay for planning of an improved facility on the site for trash transfer, recycling and composting. Expanding these services can help the community save money in the long run. The more waste we divert, the less we will pay for trash hauling to the landfill near Idaho Falls.
The proposal is one of three for specific-purpose excise tax, or SPET, revenue. Also up for vote are the proposal to buy the 10-acre Forest Service property on North Cache for $13.5 million, which I do not support, and Proposition #2, finishing the pathway connection between West Broadway and Wilson for $4.4 million, which I do support.