Officials consider tax for dump, land project
By Kevin Huelsmann, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
July 2, 2012
Town of Jackson and Teton County officials today are slated to talk about whether they will use a portion of sales tax revenue to buy land on North Cache Street from the U.S. Forest Service and close a landfill in Horsethief Canyon.
Town councilors and county commissioners have talked about the proposals for months. They are slated to review specific proposals that could show up on the November ballot at 3 p.m. in county commissioners’ chambers, 200 S. Willow St.
Officials have to approve ballot questions by Aug. 27 if they want to put the two projects before voters in the general election. If approved, money from the specific purpose excise tax would be directed to the projects after the current slate of projects is paid off.
County officials have estimated current projects should be paid off by November 2014, though that date could shift if tax collections come in stronger or weaker than expected. The tax generates about $9 million per year.
Elected officials haven’t decided how much they will seek for either project. Town staff said it is waiting on an appraisal from Forest Service officials. County officials are waiting for a report about the landfill from a consultant.
State environmental regulators have imposed a 2017 deadline for county officials to close and clean up the old landfill in Horsethief Canyon. While most of the old dump hasn’t been used for decades, a small portion is still used to dispose of dead animals.
A firm hired by the county is expected to deliver a report to commissioners in the next several weeks that outlines cost estimates and recommendations.
Town officials are working with federal officials to buy 10 acres of Bridger-Teton National Forest land on North Cache. Town staff said the site could be used for a variety of uses, including parking, housing and open space. Staff also has talked about building a bypass that would allow motorists and emergency vehicles to avoid Town Square to get to the eastern portion of town.