Lincoln County Commissioners examine lighting, ways to cut county landfill costs

The Lincoln County Commissioners held their regular meeting on Tuesday, August 7.

The candidates for county commissioners will be hosting a candidate forum in Afton on Thursday, August 9, at 7:00 p.m. at the Afton Civic Center.

Current commissioners Jerry Harmon and Robert King are up for re-election. Also in the race are Byron Baker and Robert Rex Miekle.

The commissioners had received a letter from Wyoming’s state Attorney General about the opioid crisis in Wyoming. The commissioners agreed to draft a response agreeing to join the reponse to study and address the crisis.

Lincoln County maintenance supervisor Matthew Mochel had some bad news for the commmisioners about an issue in the Justice Center.

Mochel said that in the detention part of the jail, fire-rated tags — which are necessary for the facility’s fire marshall approval — were taken off 15 doors.

“People can’t be modifying facilities without my knowledge,” Mochel said. “The tags were thrown away, which really causes a problem for us.”

Mochel said the cost to fix the issue could be more than $5,000, which includes the cost of the tags and the cost of an inspector coming to reassure that the Justice Center doors are the same as when they were inspected before.

“Well, we really have no other option than to move forward, and make sure this doesn’t happen again,” said Commission chairman Robert King.

Mochel and Mary Crosby updated the commissioners of the project to update the lighting in the courthouse. The project would retrofit the current fluorescent lights in the courthouse with LED lights, which would also save on energy costs.

The total cost for the project is estimated at about $35,000. Mochel and Crosby said that Rocky Mountain Power has a Wattsmart Program that would provide grant money and rebates for the project.

Crosby, the solid waste director for the county, addressed the commissioners about the progress of Lincoln County’s efforts to form a special solid waste district with agencies in Idaho.

Commissioner Kent Connelly said the potential IDAWY Solid Waste District is something the county is hoping would lower landfill costs, which have increased exponentially each year for the county.

The county has three landfills in Kemmerer, Cokeville and Thayne.

Lincoln County attorney Spencer Allred, who attended the meeting via video conference from the Afton office, said he was examining the legal ramifications of a potential cooperation.

“We’re looking to see if a government entity in Wyoming can join an entity in Idaho for this purpose,” Allred said.

Crosby and the commissioners said that the organization would function more like a Joint Powers Board than a typical Wyoming special district.

The commissioners agreed to continue examining the costs and necessary agreements to make the special district happen and cut costs.

The next Lincoln County Commissioners meeting is on Sept. 4 and 5 in the commissioners’ boardroom in the Lincoln County Courthouse on Sage Avenue in Kemmerer.

Meeting agendas are available prior to the meetings on