BOISE -- Despite an Ada County commissioner's attempt to kill the deal on Friday, the plan to build a waste-to-energy plant at the Hidden Hollow Landfill is moving forward.
The meeting Friday morning was an opportunity for Dynamis to update county commissioners on how their project is progressing. But it was also an opportunity for Commissioner Dave Case, who has been a very vocal opponent of the plant, to question the company's managers.
CEO Lloyd Mahaffey, along with other presenters for Dynamis, talked about the updates to the original project plans, that he says will reduce air pollution that was already planned for an acceptable level.
Gasification chambers for the plant are already under construction in Middleton, and Mahaffey says Dynamis has already spent about $10 million.
"Ten million dollars is a fairly hefty investment," said Mahaffey.
He did, however, admit that construction has been delayed. Ground is scheduled to be broken in September, five months after the original construction date. Mahaffey says that's because Dynamis had to change their design plans when Idaho Power asked them to produce more power.
"As soon as we did that our schedule began to shift," said Mahaffey. 'We had to redesign, we had to finish the power purchase contract and get through the PUC, then we had to submit the permit again."
But Case says the company is missing their deadlines since no official extensions were granted, even though commissioners were told about the change. Also, Case doesn't agree with Mahaffey that financing for the plant is secure since it's contingent on DEQ and building permits being approved.
"If it's contingent upon something that would tell me that it's not completely secure," said Case.
Because of all that, Case motioned to kill the Dynamis contract.
"I would move to terminate all contracts and franchise agreements with Dynamis regarding the proposed waste-to-energy project based upon lack of performance," said Case to a room nearly full of Dynamis opposition, who erupted in applause.
But that motion failed in a two to one vote as Commissioners Sharon Ullman and Rick Yzaguirre voted no.
"Obviously, Sharon and I have been involved in this project for two-plus years, and I think we're close to seeing the reality of it, if they get the air permit," said Yzaguirre. "If they don't, it's all going to go away and it will be a good learning experience."
So, the project continues to move forward. But some neighbors to the landfill have now officially requested that the attorney general, Ada County prosecutor and U.S. attorney look into possible unlawful conduct in the creation of the Dynamis contract. Mahaffey says his company did nothing wrong.
If you want to voice your opinion on the proposed plant, public meetings with Dynamis are coming up in a couple of weeks. They'll be held on July 17 and 18 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Eagle, from 6 to 7 p.m.