Friday, October 1, 2010

Reserve: Commission Votes on Waste

Reserve News
By Richard Torres

The Catron County Commissioners voted to take new action on the issue of Solid Waste at the Sept. 15 meeting. Costs of the Solid Waste Program as currently structured are requiring funds from the General Fund ($428,000.00-not $300,000.00 as previously reported) as of this fiscal year, which started June 1.  Monies were also transferred from the General Fund to the Solid Waste Program. This is because revenue generated from Solid Waste does not cover the costs of the Program.
The Commissioners voted to keep the annual fee the same  - $72 (plus gross receipts tax) which is to be paid by all property owners, and businesses and allows unlimited access and unlimited dumping privileges at county convenience centers.
In addition, they voted to institute a cubic yard trash system, payable by a punch card, or by cash at the convenience center. The minimum payment due at time of dump through the punch card is $3. Users may also pay cash. The initial punch card will total $72. As trash is dumped, the card will be punched at the convenience center. If the punch card is used up, the user can purchase another punch card. If the punch card is not totally used up at end of year, the card can be used the following year. However, the user must still pay the $72 annual fee for that year.
This proposed ordinance only pertains to District 2 and 3 (Reserve/Glenwood). District 1 (the northern part of county), will be dealt with at a later time.
The current revenue system is not sufficiently funding the current Solid Waste Program. Changes made to the Solid Waste Program included:
1. Closure of landfills in Reserve and Glenwood
2. Trucking of solid waste out of state.
3. Addition of attendants at convenience centers.
4. Costs of improvements at convenience centers.
5. Costs of trucking between primary and secondary convenience centers.
The Commissioners have been dealing with this issue for years, including the appointment of a citizen panel which issued a study in 2004. The Commissioners have been meeting with federal, state, and BLM officials for years trying to come to an equitable solution for all county residents.

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