Mammoth Town Council: landfill, BID and marathon

mltc4_17_13In ten years, Mono County will have to find an alternative to Benton Crossing Landfill. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power doesn’t want to lease the land for that purpose after 2023. At the Mammoth Town Council meeting Wednesday night, Mayor Pro Tem Rick Wood said Town and County officials are talking about it.

Wood said he and Council member Jo Bacon attended the Town-County Liaison Committee meeting and talked about the solid waste issue. Wood said, “The landfill today will not be available in ten years from now. There is an extraordinary cost to close it and monitor it.” Wood said there are also new recycling requirements.

Wood said the Town and County have “not had the best relations in the past on this issue.” He said Town Manager Marianna Marysheva-Martinez is reaching out to the County to find ways to work collaboratively. Said Wood, “We need a place to haul trash. Opportunities may come forward.”

Wood said he and Mayor Matthew Lehman also attended a Town-Mountain Liaison Committee meeting. The topic of the new Business Improvement District tax came up. Wood said there is apparently support for the BID and the concept will come to the Council possibly in early June.

Councilman Wood, an avid runner, also made note of the horrible bombings at the Boston Marathon. He quoted Amby Burfoot, well-known marathoner and journalist. Wood said Burfoot pointed out that “It was not just an attack against the Boston Marathon but against the American public and the use of our streets. The roads belong to us. It’s about our freedom and democracy.”


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17 Responses to Mammoth Town Council: landfill, BID and marathon

  1. SierraFan April 21, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

    I read the article Ken, thanks. If we can have a cost effective and clean solution like this then this should be done everywhere.

    • Ken Warner April 22, 2013 at 4:18 am #

      Yes, it should/could be done more if not everywhere. Why isn’t it? I think because of social inertia — my daddy buried his trash, that’s good enough for me — and cost. Such efforts would need to be subsidized at first with government tax breaks and grants and the same people who complain about tax breaks and subsidies for “green” energy would mount the same “anti” campaings as the “green” energy opponents.

      And short term cost differentials. In the short term, it is still cheaper to bury it — and then build houses on top of it later. That’s what happened in Encinitas and probably a lot of other places.

      There used to be a huge dump outside of Encinitas in the not too distant past. When it reached capacity, they smoothed it over and built a housing development over it.

      The houses there have cracked foundations from settling and deal with methane and other gases constantly. The developers took the money and ran.

      Some time in the future, expect some kind of development on top of our landfill. Or a massive toxic waste clean up as all that stuff breaks down and begins seaping into the water that feeds Crowley Lake. I wonder when the first three eyed fish will be caught.

      I’m surprised there hasn’t been development on top of Mammoth’s old dump down by 203. Anybody remember that one?

      • Desert Tortoise April 22, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

        I’m waving the BS flag. it is very much against the law to build on sanitary landfills. They off gas methane continuously and the landfill subsides as organic wastes in the layers decomposes. The experience you mention and another in Anaheim known as “Sinkin’ Lincoln” (near Ball Rd and Lincoln Av.) taught everyone a lesson. No one may build any sort of housing or commercial development on a land fill today. If anything they become open space. They aren’t even suitable as a park.

    • Ken Warner April 22, 2013 at 4:22 am #

      …and you might be interested in this:

    • Ken Warner April 22, 2013 at 4:25 am #

      …and a pretty slick business model. Make people pay to give you raw materials and fuel. Beautiful!!!

  2. Jake Steel April 21, 2013 at 8:17 am #

    The BID is a joke, let’s give more $$$ to people who fail to market the right way. Lame marketing turns people off.

  3. Ken Warner April 19, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    And about the land fill. Just burying trash is just about the dumbest thing a sociedty can do given the available technology and the kinds of stuff that is buried.

    A trash to energy and building materials processing plant would create jobs, produce useful energy and novel building materials and could service the entire East Side. We have 10 years to figure it out. And I’m certain that 10 years from now, they will still be wondering where they are going to bury their future.

    • SierraFan April 20, 2013 at 1:27 pm #


      What about the pollution this idea would create? Do you know of a feasible and cost effective system for this that would not create pollution? If so, bring it up to the community in the next meeting so it can be added to an agenda.

      • Ken Warner April 20, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

        No, I don’t have a particular technology or plan that implements that technology in mind. I know that solutions exist and that smart people can make it work. The exact method and implementation would require more that a paragraph in a blog to fully describe. And it would take more than a days thought and research to realize a feasible plan.

        But it’s not hard to see that stuff that could be turned into energy and building material is wasted if it is simply covered over with dirt. Just google “trash to energy” and you may find the following:

        “According to the country’s Environmental Protection Agency, it needs more trash to feet [feed] Sweden’s energy habit, and it’s begun importing trash—just over 881,000 tons—from nearby Norway…”

        I don’t know how many tons of trash Mono County generates but 881,000 tons seems like a pretty big pile of trash to me.

        As for pollution, that’s a premature question given that no particular technology has been mentioned and the technology tor such purpose 10 years from now may not even exist today. It’s just an idea that would take a lot of smart people a lot of hard work to realize. But it is already being done in other places.

        • Desert Tortoise April 21, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

          A bill signed into law in July 2010 changed the diversion mandate from 50% of municipal solid waste diverted from landfills to 75%, effective 2020. Currently much of California’s smaller municipalities and rural counties struggle and most fail to meet the existing 50% diversion mandate. Big cities like LA and San Francisco both already exceed 60% diversion. This is driven by the rate at which existing landfills are filling up and the high cost of and general opposition to creating new landfills. LA’s big Puente Hills Landfill closes this year and it’s trash will now be rail shipped to a mega dump in the Imperial Valley. Likewise San Francisco’s only landfill closes next year with no replacement. They plan to go 100% recycling. They exceed 75% diversion to recycling now.

          There have been a number of trash to energy technologies in existance since the late 1970’s, such things as anaerobic pyrolysis for example which creates both liquid and gas fuels, and a solid waste product that can be landfilled (not sure it can be used as a building material however). The drawback with the Swedish method is that it still requires fossil fuels to ignite the trash and burn it, and the exhaust gasses wouldn’t pass muster in this state.

  4. No More Taxes! April 19, 2013 at 8:28 am #

    There is very little public support for this tax, masquerading as a business fee. It’s an insult to the intelligence of the voters to slip this canard through as a business expense. There are three businessman council members up for re-election a year from this June. They need to be held accountable if this tax is forced on the public against the will of the people. It’s time to re-examine all tax measures, there stated and actual uses and return them for a vote of the people, for possible repeal next election.

    Rumor has it that this TAX and the ski area Main Lodge land trade are the conditions needed to justify the value of any future sale of MMSA. These monies will be used and controlled by business interest, the will of the public that is paying the tax has no voice other than this vote of our town council.

    I think most of us know who our town council gets their marching orders from, it’s time to stand up to these charlatans once and for all.

    Can I get a motion, a second and a vote too hold these political puppets accountable?

    • Ken Warner April 19, 2013 at 9:54 am #

      It’s gratifying to know that at least you get it. I wish the rest of the population of Mammoth Lakes would wake up and see what is so obvious. The BID and the rest oof the taxes R, U A etc. are nothing more than public subsidies of private business.

      This isn’t Socialism or Fascism or Communism or Democracy. This is a whole new form of government more related to a Kleptocracy than any other. And it has cone to Mammoth because of the apathy of the and gullibility of the constituency.

      How many times does the local population have to be tricked into subsidizing local businesses before they figure out that they are being manipulated with a smile and a pat on the back and laughed at when they are not around?

      The People get the government they deserve……

    • Desert Tortoise April 19, 2013 at 10:06 am #

      Would not a Business Improvement District tax be paid for by the businesses in that district? It is not a general tax on the whole city or on residential property owners. It strikes me that if business look at their revenues, expenses and come to the conclusion that they can afford a tax to dress up and improve the public areas their business front, this is a commendable thing. I could see being upset at the revenues of a general tax, one that everyone has to pay into, being used to dress up the business district for the benefit of local businesses, but when the businesses themselves decide to self fund these improvements I see little reason for complaint.

      • Benett Kessler April 19, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

        The BID would include a 1% or so tax on lodging, retail and restaurants plus some kind of tax on lift tickets and ski school.

    • SkierJohn April 19, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

      Here we go again with more Rumors! State the truth and nothing but the truth, posting rumors does nothing.

      The truth of the matter is if you are a business owner and are fat and happy and simply do not need any more business, especially in the shoulder seasons and mid week, then simply don’t support it.

      If you are a non business owner, get over sooner than later because businesses in this town simply need allot more business to keep our doors open 12 months a year, not 7! This TBID is peanuts on a transaction basis, but ads up to millions of additional new money to market this town to drive more folks here period!

      How many business do you know that have went out of business , i can answer it for you..allot, and how many do you know that are prospering and don’t need any more customers, I can answer that one too….not many!

      The reality is, for many of us that have been here a long, long time and have seen many of our friends and business owners have to leave town , it’s finally time to try something new. This “tax” as you call it, (more like a resort fee, exactly like the resort fee at the Village since day one, and yes I see you out there for all free events that the resort fee pays for) will be passed on to our guests who come here to enjoy what our town has to offer. Make no mistake, nothing is done without tourists coming to town with their dollars. There is no industry here other than tourism period.

      Go to the public meeting coming up, read the facts and then once you understand what this will finally do for our community, repost the facts you learned not the rumors your heard.

      In the meantime, make some turns!

      • SierraFan April 20, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

        Well said Skier John! What this blog sometimes misses is more facts not just opinion. Bennet does a nice job of pointing things out when needed but to have another business owner speak out on this subject in nice.

        • No more Taxes! April 21, 2013 at 8:27 am #

          Skier John is a shill, he hasn’t seen me at a “free” event in years.

          Thanks for pointing out the absence of any solid facts in Benett’s post.

          “The BID would include a 1% or so tax on lodging, retail and restaurants plus some kind of tax on lift tickets and ski school.”

          The voters didn’t vote to layoff public employees or get rid of police officer positions so businessman can cut themselves a bigger piece of the taxpayer pie at the public expense.

          Vote the carpet baggers OUT!


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