By Lyndsie Kiebert
The Wrenco waste refusal site will remain open for the foreseeable future, after a unanimous vote July 30 by Bonner County commissioners.
Commissioners originally voted June 11 to close the site by July 31, based on recommendations from the Solid Waste Advisory Committee and Great West, a company the county hired earlier this year to craft a 10-year improvement plan for Solid Waste.
Solid Waste Director Bob Howard said that without considering the cost of having Waste Management haul the site’s garbage, the unattended dump costs the county $12,000 annually in extra maintenance. A May 2017 letter to Howard from the Selkirk Fire Department, which owns the property where the Wrenco dump is located, described the kitchen-only site as “abused.” The letter listed Dumpster looting, appliance disposal and illegal discarding of hazardous waste as some of the fire department’s concerns.
When the Wrenco neighborhood got word of the June 11 closure decision, some residents felt left out of the conversation and stuck without an alternative. County residents packed a conference room June 17 to voice their concerns to the Solid Waste Advisory Committee.
Commissioner Jeff Connolly, who voted against the previous resolution to close the Wrenco dump, cited lack of public involvement when casting his opposing vote.
In an about-face July 30 — just a day before the Wrenco site was set to close — Howard asked commissioners to keep the Wrenco dump open until an alternative location could be found to accommodate surrounding residents. Commissioners voted unanimously in favor with minimal discussion.
Howard said he is currently exploring several prospects for a new location, and the county will host a public hearing once an alternative waste refusal site to serve residents between Sandpoint and Laclede is secured.
Those with questions should contact the Solid Waste Department at 208-255-5681, extension 2.
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