July 29, 2013

Work Session

The work session of the Council of the City of Gooding, Idaho was called to order at 3:00 pm in the Gooding Municipal Building, 308 5th Ave West, Gooding, Idaho on July 29, 2013.

Roll Call

Present were Councilpersons Arkoosh, France, Houser and Magnelli.  Council President Vern France presided over the meeting.


Present were Tom Faulkner, Helen Edwards, Floyd DeWitt, Mike Boyer, Julia Spackman, Bill Harding, B Leguineche and Lonnie Leavell.

Public Comment

Floyd DeWitt:  County resident Mr. Floyd DeWitt addressed the City Council regarding his frustration at the closing of the brush yard.  He had to drive all his materials to the Wendell Transfer Station which cost him more money in fuel and time than it would have if he was able to use the Gooding Brush Yard.  Mr. DeWitt feels that closing the brush yard is going to result in unlawful dumping of yard debris on the public lands that belong to all Americans.  Mr. DeWitt submitted a letter to the Council regarding his complaints.

Lonnie Leavell:  County resident Mr. Lonnie Leavell addressed the City Council regarding the complaint he called in against the dust created by the grinding of the materials at the brush yard.  Mr. Leavell owns approximately eighty (80) acres of land east of the brush yard.  He has divided this land into thirty-three (33) lots to be developed into residential homes.  On both days the grinding took place, the dust was so extreme people could not see the brush pile from the road. Mr. Leavell does not feel people will buy a home close to the brush yard if they were to experience the dust and mold contamination while the grinding takes place.

Brush Yard:

Southern Idaho Waste arrived to grind up the brush, stumps and wood at the brush yard.  The County Sheriff received several complaints from County citizens regarding the dust and pollution coming from the brush yard while the waste was being processed.  Public Works Director Todd Bunn and Council President Vern France met the Gooding County Sheriff Shaun Gough and agreed the dust was causing visibility issues across the road and that the amount of dust coming off the new machine was not healthy for citizens and animals around the site and that it will need to close until a solution is reached.

The City Council met with the County Commissioners regarding the brush yard.  The first (1st) priority is to remove approximately 10,000-15,000 yards of existing material before the yard can be opened again.  All parties agree the best solution in removing the material is to push the dirt up against the existing bank below the brush yard, excavate a hole below the North bank and then push the material from the existing pile on top into the new excavated hole on the North side.  The cost of this removal is estimated at $25,000-$30,000.  Council President Vern France asked Public Works Director Todd Bunn to contact the Department of Environmental Quality to ask for their approval for the burial of these materials as the area is close to the Big Wood River.

The City Council and County Commissioners discussed hiring someone to monitor the brush yard to ensure leaves, branches, mulch and grass are separated into different piles thus reducing the amount of material to be processed by the grinder.  No demolition material will be accepted and if residents do not separate the material they want to dump then they will be re-routed to the Wendell Transfer Station.

The County Commissioners reported they have $20,000 available to help fund this project.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.

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