Opin­ions & Ed­i­to­rial New Solid Waste Or­di­nance Ca­tron County’s Best

Catron Courier - - Opinions & Editorials -

The new Ca­tron County Solid Waste Or­di­nance was passed by the Com­mis­sion on May 14. This will bring much needed changes to the en­tire pro­gram start­ing July 1. The first ma­jor change is the cre­ation of the Solid Waste Depart­ment. This re­moves all as­pects of the county solid waste depart­ment from the trea­surer and as­ses­sor of­fices. The solid waste depart­ment will be re­spon­si­ble for rules and poli­cies, as­sess and col­lect man­age­ment, dis­posal, and late fees, de­ter­mine ex­emp­tions from the or­di­nance, mon­i­tor and re­port un­law­ful solid waste dis­posal and to re­port to and make rec­om­men­da­tions to the County Com­mis­sion.

The big­gest changes, how­ever, are in the nuts and bolts of the sys­tem. There will no longer be punch cards. Each prop­erty owner, res­i­den­tial or com­mer­cial, will pay a $50 man­age­ment fee per year to help ad­min­is­ter the pro­gram. This will pro­vide a card for en­try to any con­ve­nience cen­ter. The dis­posal fees will be paid in cash at the site only when you use it. The fees will be as­sessed by the cu­bic yard or by weight where scales are pro­vided. The fee sys­tem is set so the cost is the same no mat­ter what method is used. If you use the weight as­sess­ment the cost is $ 3.50 up to 50 lbs. Each ad­di­tional 50 lbs will then be $ 3.50 on up. We have done nu­mer­ous tests and weigh­ings to de­ter­mine that the av­er­age weight of one cu­bic yard of house­hold waste is 100 lbs. There for if you use the cu­bic yard sys­tem it will be $ 3.50 for ½ cu­bic yard, and $ 3.50 for each ½ cu­bic yard on up. To com­pare to the present sys­tem, it now costs 1 punch min­i­mum or $ 6.00 ev­ery time you go to the cen­ter. That is $12.00 per cu­bic yard. This is a $ 4.50 sav­ings for ev­ery cu­bic yard. Plus you only pay when you dump.

We are ex­plor­ing other meth­ods of pay­ment such as pre­paid swipe cards and credit cards but at this point the ca­pa­bil­ity does not ex­ist. We will con­tinue to pur­sue ev­ery means avail­able.

There are some other as­pects of the pro­gram that are chang­ing. Most no­tably in terms of man­age­ment we have pro­cured ad­di­tional dump­sters so that all sites will only be hauled when a dump­ster is full. We are in the process of leas­ing equip­ment rather than buy­ing. The ad­van­tage to this is a huge sav­ings in up front costs and main­te­nance. We will have a truck and driver sta­tioned in Que­mado to ser­vice the north­ern part of the county. The es­ti­mated sav­ings in op­er­at­ing cost is $ 90,000 per year. As this sav­ings is re­al­ized we want to first make the sys­tem more us­able in terms of more days and hours open. Then we will use the sav­ings to help re­duce fees and im­ple­ment other as­pects of the sys­tem such as re­cy­cling.

There will be town hall meet­ings start­ing the last week in May and the first week of June to pro­vide more de­tails and an­swer ques­tions. More info will be pub­lished here as it be­comes nec­es­sary.

The sec­ond an­nual Ca­tron County’s Best Awards are again open. This year we’ve added a few new cat­e­gories for vot­ing, so do take a look a the bal­lot.

This is a peo­ple’s choice award—we count the bal­lots and then pub­lish the awards. We don’t check out if any­one is telling the truth about those “bests” so we hope ev­ery­one is be­ing hon­est. Any­one can vote—even peo­ple who do not re­side in Ca­tron County. How­ever, the awards are for Ca­tron County busi­nesses.

To vote, cut out the bal­lot from the news­pa­per and mail­ing it in. As noted, only busi­nesses in Ca­tron County are el­i­gi­ble to win. (NOTE: We may con­sider ex­pand­ing the award to in­clude busi­nesses which Ca­tron County res­i­dents pa­tron­ize, but we need in­put on this—should we ex­pand or not? Do let us know your thoughts on this.)

Please do note that best cof­fee served means just that—we’re not look­ing for who sells the best beans. And best BBQ meat means the BBQ should be a meat that’s cooked up BBQ-style.

The win­ning busi­ness or ser­vice in each cat­e­gory will re­ceive:

1. A framed cer­tifi­cate that can be dis­played in your place of busi­ness.

2. An ar­ti­cle in the news­pa­per about their busi­ness and why they won, in­clud­ing a photo of the pro­pri­etor hold­ing their cer­tifi­cate.

3. A dig­i­tal im­age of the cer­tifi­cate the busi­ness can use to print ban­ners, busi­ness cards, signs, or in emails for pro­mo­tional pur­poses.

Busi­nesses are en­cour­aged to ask their pa­trons to vote for them, which in­cludes ad­ver­tis­ing to urge vot­ers to pick out what they’re best at.

We ask for one vote per per­son, and we will throw out bal­lots that are ei­ther il­leg­i­ble or which ap­pear to be a du­pli­cate vote.

Vot­ing can be done in June and July—vot­ing will close July 15 (they must be post marked by that date). Any votes re­ceived af­ter that date will not be counted. Votes will be counted and win­ners will be an­nounced in the Au­gust is­sue of the Ca­tron Courier.

So start vot­ing for what you think is best in Ca­tron County!

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