Teton County is interested in purchasing a piece of little-used Jefferson County landfill equipment.
Dave Walrath, Jefferson County public works administrator, said Teton County officials have approached him about a Posi-Shell machine intended for use as alternative daily cover (ADC) for garbage at Circular Butte Landfill. He said it “never worked as touted” because of the windy weather, and is instead used to provide water for compost.
“It’s something that we would really like to dispose of, especially if we can help out another county with something they’re needing,” Walrath said.
He said the machine would be used by the Teton County weed department for hydroseeding — the process of growing grasses by mixing seeds and mulch with water. However, he said he did not yet know how much the county would pay for the machine.
While Walrath hopes to sell one machine intended for covering garbage, he is continuing to work with commissioners to have the county purchase another.
Walrath said Jefferson County solid waste employees use a scraper to cover garbage on a daily basis and dig landfill cells.
He initially approached commissioners about the machine in October, saying it is “getting old” and would need to be fixed or replaced soon. Commissioners said they would be more interested in replacing the machine.
“It’s pushing 15,000 hours, I don’t know how much you want to put into it at this point,” Walrath said.
Commissioners considered two bids for a new scraper Jan. 6, but opted not to make a decision until asking individuals who had experience with the different equipment. One bid, for a Volvo articulated truck and pull-behind scraper, is at $876,000. The Arnold Machinery bid indicated the company would take the county’s current scraper for $96,000, bringing the cost to $780,000. A bid for a CAT truck and pull-behind scraper came out to $916,000, with a trade-in offsetting the cost to $806,000.
Commissioners indicated they did not think that $26,000 difference would be important in the long run if the CAT ultimately had a longer lifespan or better trade-in value.
“We’re spending so much money, I really want to make sure we’re making the best decision possible for the county,” Hancock said.
Hancock said they would speak with individuals using the equipment about their experiences before potentially making a decision Jan. 13.
County commissioners decided to consider the purchase in spite of not having enough money budgeted. Toward the end of 2019, Walrath pointed out the budget that could be used for the scraper only had $10,000, which he said he believed was a budget error.
“Obviously, we didn’t include enough to purchase a scraper in FY20’s budget, but it is mission-critical to what we do at the landfill,” Walrath said.
Colleen Poole, county clerk, said she believed the $10,000 should have been $100,000. However, $100,000 would still not cover the scraper.
Hancock and Walrath both said while the $800,000 is not in the budget, the county has enough cash to cover the expense. Poole said the budget can be opened, with a hearing held at the end of the fiscal year.