Peabody proposes ‘man camp’ to house miners near Hayden Station

Routt County Commissioners to weigh in on proposal Tuesday, Nov. 1

A look inside Twentymile Coal Mine from 2017. The company is proposing a 'man camp' near the Hayden Station to address housing shortages that are making it hard to hire miners.
Peabody Energy/Courtesy photo

On Tuesday, Nov. 1, Routt County commissioners are expected to weigh in on a proposal from the owners of Twentymile Mine to construct a “man camp” serving as workforce housing for miners near the Hayden Station.

The camp would consist of 16 three-bedroom units similar to those used by oil and gas companies to house employees when drilling a new well. It would be on Peabody Energy-owned land, known as the Mesa gravel pit, off Routt County Road 51B, just southeast of the power plant.

If a special-use permit for the camp is approved, the units would be erected in two phases — eight units at a time — and last for three years, according to the Routt County Planning Department’s report.

“(Peabody has) expressed to the county the difficulty they have been having recruiting people to work in the mine,” county staff wrote. “One contributing factor is the lack of housing in the county. Peabody wishes to address this shortage by providing accommodations for some of their employees.”

The Routt County Planning Commission unanimously approved the permit application on Oct. 20. County planning staff has recommended that commissioners approve it as well, though they could deny the application or table it to allow for more information about the proposal.

Staff comments note the planning commissioners didn’t have any major concerns with the application.

One issue that was discussed was how to dispose of wastewater, which Peabody says will be taken to Craig’s treatment plant for disposal. The backup plan for wastewater would be to use the mine’s wastewater disposal system.

Another issue discussed was a reclamation bond, which is generally used to ensure the necessary work to restore the area is completed when the permit expires.

“Most other large-scale disturbances in Routt County is covered by a bond through a different agency,” staff wrote. “In this case, there is no outside agency that covers this.”

The application is on commissioners’ agenda as the second of three planning items that are set to start at 9:35 a.m. Tuesday in the hearing room at the historic Routt County Courthouse in downtown Steamboat Springs.

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