By Marty Mayfield
Raton City commissioners met Tuesday night where they listened to Joe Lendowsky for over an hour about solid waste operations in Raton.
Lendowsky was hired to do a solid waste audit report for the city, which covered how the city was currently doing business to recommendations for the future. Going over the residential and commercial trash pickup he noted that Raton should continue their present course of action to replace the old dumpsters with new heavier ones. He also noted that the frequency of pickup for many areas of town was spot on and one of the more efficient in the state.
He also noted that educating the public on when to throw their trash to possible route changes such as late day pickup or hitting routes more often in high bear areas could help to reduce the bear problem.
His discussion included the recycle center where he will make suggestions to improve efficiency and ways to make it more profitable. He called the transfer station very basic at this time but for the equipment Raton has it is a very good setup.
He included in his report ways for the city to be more financially efficient including ramping up recycling. He added that it is more economical to sell a truck load of cardboard noting that is would sell for about $3000 making the city money where as hauling that same truck load of cardboard to the land fill would cost the city about $800 for tipping fees plus transportation costs to the landfill. Noting that it is more financially sound to recycle when you don’t have a landfill.
The report is still a work in progress but should be fully completed soon. Comments from the audience were heard, mostly on the issues of recycling. David Wentling also touched on code enforcement. Lendowsky indicated that enforcement will take care of itself with education of the public and more convenient waste disposal solutions.
The commission then went on with other business approving the first quarter financial report and approving the road closure for the Main Street Annual Lights Festival November 29, 2014.
Commissioners also approved a grant application for $12,000 to install a cattle guard on the road leading into the airport to keep wildlife from entering the property. The city will pay $600 for their matching funds with the State Aviation Division covering the rest. The problem at this point is getting the wildlife that are inside the wildlife fence out of the property. Game and Fish officers made an attempt last weekend to remove antelope but that failed when the officers were involved in a minor accident.
City Manager Scott Berry noted that Tricia Garcia had completed the three year program to be a certified city clerk. He also noted that the construction on Park Avenue had hit a snag with some utilities in the area but the project should be completed in the next week.
Berry asked the commissioners about a November 8, workshop to set goals for the city and prioritize projects. Notice will be given when that meeting is finalized and with Veterans Day being the next regular meeting commissioners moved the first November meeting to November 10, 2014.