Gering council rejects expense to lower landfill cap

The Gering city council Monday night voted 7-0 to "stay the current course" and not spend an engineer's estimate of up to two million dollars to remove bales of trash on top of the city's landfill and recover lost revenue from lowering the landfill cap.

Gering council member Jill McFarland said she could not see supporting something that would cost the entire community two million dollars, which she projected would be $571 for each of the city's 3,500 households. Councilman Larry Gibbs said he was on the council that lowered the cap below what was permitted, and regretted not lowering it even more. But he said "it was not worth two million dollars to correct the mistake."

Nearby homeowners have maintained the trash and the increasing height of the landfill has reduced their view of the Scotts Bluff National Monument and threatened their property values. Scott Brandt said it really wasn't about his property values, but "making the smallest environmental footprint."

Opponents of the option to lower the landfill cap claimed the height of the new homes near the landfill is doing more to block the view of the Monument than the landfill. They also said they didn't want to pay more in sanitation fees and taxes to appease the concerns of those who purchased homes near the landfill.

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