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