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New fee schedule at Archuleta County Transfer Station

Residents using the Archuleta County Transfer Station will now pay less to deposit smaller bags of trash.

With an amendment to the fee schedule Tuesday afternoon, the Board of County Commissioners added costs for small and medium bags, as well as the $3 charge that now stands for large bags.

Now, bags that are .08 cubic yards or less may be dumped for $1, bags between .08 and .136 cubic yards will be $2 and larger bags will be $3.

Containers will be present at the transfer station to determine what category a bag falls under, said David Sterner, the county’s new solid waste director who spearheaded the effort.

Sterner said the sizing also helps to lessen the hardship and to be more fair to people who are unable to handle large bags.

Recycling will continue to cost $1.

“This is one area we’ve had a lot of conflict over,” said Commissioner Steve Wadley, adding that the new fees would help the county to be fair and equitable with its operations.

Commisioner Clifford Lucero, too, reiterated that the change allows for the operation to be more fair and equitable, saying, “To this commission, that’s one of the most important things, too.”

In addition to the fee schedule, the BoCC dealt with a number of items at its regular meeting Tuesday:

• The board presented three, $1,000 Archuleta County Environmental Awareness Scholarships to Kelsy Sellers, Autumn Medlin and Tiffany Bachtel.

To compete for the scholarship, which is funded through the county’s collection of aluminum cans, students must write an essay dealing with not only their future, but the future of recycling, as well as answering three questions.

Lucero said the county received more than 12 applications for the scholarship, with the winning trio doing an “awesome job” on the essays.

“It’s a great way to use recycling money,” Commissioner Michael Whiting said.

• The commission approved the naming of an easement road and, in the process, highlighted questions of proper spelling and transparency.

At previous agenda review sessions, County Clerk June Madrid pointed out that the road’s proposed name, Candle Light Court, was not properly spelled and would likely cause problems if the road were to be looked up later, stating that it should be Candlelight Court.

At the May 8 agenda review session, County Planner Cindy Schultz stated that the applicants had requested that the road name be two words, but that they might be OK with Candlelight as one word.

With that, Lucero directed that the name be presented as one word (Candlelight Court), which prompted a caution from County Administrator Greg Schulte about making decisions in work sessions.

“We’re not making a decision,” Lucero said.

“Well, you kind of are,” Schulte responded.

This Tuesday, the road was presented and approved as Candlelight Court, intersecting with County Road 982.

• The BoCC approved a contract between the Department of Human Services and Lynell Wiggers in the amount of $4,095 to provide a seven-week relationship class as part of the DHS Pathways to Responsible Fatherhood grant program.

• The Board approved a contract with the state Department of Local Affairs to accept a Community Development Block Grant in the amount of $125,000 to repair the roof at Casa de los Arcos.

The contract comes with a 30-year encumbrance stating that the county will pay back the funding should the property cease being used for affordable housing.

• The board approved an update to the personnel policy manual that, among other things, caps the amount of sick leave employees can accumulate and increases the threshold of obtaining benefits from 20 hours per week to 30 hours per week.

Under the update, county employees cannot accrue more than 480 hours of sick leave. Prior to the update, employees could go above that amount, with the extra hours paid out by the county at the end of each year for half of the employee’s hourly wage.

Any affected employees will be paid for hours over the 480 cap this month.

Part-time employees working fewer than 30 hours per week will no longer be eligible for benefits, with Human Resources Administrator stating that the change would affect only two county employees.

The change in benefits also triggered a change to the county’s retirement program.

• The board approved a letter of support for the San Juan Water Conservation District to receive funding in the amount of $25,000 from the Southwestern Water Conservation District for environmental work on the site of the proposed Dry Gulch Reservoir.

The $25,000 would be used to offset the costs of an Environment Impact Study needed to assess U.S. Forest Service land that would be affected by the high-water mark of the proposed 11,000-acre-foot reservoir.

The county previously declined to take a stance on the matter until the Supreme Court dealt with the reservoir’s capacity, which was lowered from 35,000 acre feet.

“This environmental work must take place now in order for the SJWCD to continue moving forward with the decades-long process of reservoir planning and construction,” the letter states.

• The board members rearranged their meeting schedule for its fifth-Tuesday meetings. This month’s meeting on May 31 will now be held at the Chromo Fire Station at 6 p.m.

The July 31 meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the Ross Aragon Community Center.

The regular meeting scheduled for June 5 has been cancelled due to a commissioner conference. A special meeting will be held at 8:30 a.m. on June 4 at the CSU Extension Center.

randi@pagosasun.com

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