SWANN Holding Board Meeting, Public Hearing On New Baler, Building Proposal


      SWANN, the Solid Waste Agency of Northwest Nebraska, is holding a special board meeting tonight at 7:00 in Chadron to move forward on a plan to replace its baler, which compacts and bales the garbage and trash collected for burial.

The plan also calls for replacing the building that houses the baler.

       SWANN Executive Director Jake Stewart says the baler was purchased by the city of Chadron in the 1970s and was transferred to SWANN when the agency was formed 3 decades ago, but is nearing the end of its useful life with parts nearly impossible to find.

Stewart says tonight’s meeting includes a public hearing at 7:15 that’s required to move forward with buying a new baler and to do so without having to call for bids. He’s confident the state will allow a waiver of competitive bidding because SWANN is in an emergency situation to replace the baler as soon as possible.

Stewart says the baler that’s been discussed is larger than the current one and needs a bigger building for efficient operation, but he also says that like the baler itself, the infrastructure under the building has reached the end of its useful life as well.

The Chadron City Council gave it unofficial approval to lease a couple of acres just north of the SWANN offices – across East Niobrara from the existing baler building – as the site for the new baler building.

      Stewart says that although the SWANN board hopes to secure grants or low-to-no interest loans for the project, the agency is actually in good shape to fund the project if those efforts fail.

Tonight’s meeting is open to the public. It starts at 7:00 in the Chadron City Council Chambers.