Talon News - Good Local News

By Debbie Israel


June 20


Items discussed at the recent Commission meeting included new charges for using the landfill, fireworks, bridges, animal control, and water issues.

Commissioners voted 5-0 to begin charging county residents a fee to use the County landfill on Crouch Mesa.

The county has been subsidizing the cost for county residents up until now, and those residents who showed up with a utility bill addressed to them in the county (not within any city limits) were using the site for no charge. On July 1, that will change.

Fran Fillerup, San Juan County’s Public Works Administrator, said that staff had conducted research of fees and found that the new charge, $5.20 for the first four bags of trash, is right in the middle and consistent with other landfills in the area. Larger loads will be based on weight.

County CEO Kim Carpenter said that staff had discussed adding charges to utility bills, but that would add a charge for those who don’t use the landfill, so the decision was made to collect the fee at the site.

Transfer stations are located across the county, and will continue to charge the same as they always have, $1 per bag, or by the pickup load. Some of those transfer stations are located in Blanco, Cedar Hill, Huerfano, and Lee Acres. Any questions about the fee can be addressed by calling 505-386-5005.

Commissioners also voted unanimously to amend and restate the county’s animal control ordinance, to align it more with state laws.

Joe Sawyer, Deputy County Attorney, said that in 2005 the state enacted a “Dangerous Dog Act,” and this will bring the county in line with that law. The Act describes a dangerous dog as one that causes serious injury to a person or domestic animal. Dangerous dogs and their owners can be put on “probation,” with some conditions. If a dog is deemed as “vicious,” and has caused serious injury to a person, that animal will be put down. It is illegal to own a vicious animal.

The ordinance also establishes fees for kennel permits for either pets or breeders. Those who obtain a kennel permit for pets must sterilize the pets; breeders pay more for the permit and are not required to sterilize their animals.

CEO Kim Carpenter reminded commissioners that the county is asking for residents to fill out a survey about services in the county ad what they would like to see being done better. He said the survey is on-line and also paper copies are available.

County Fire Chief Craig Daugherty reminded everyone that the fire danger in the county is very high right now. He said the county is not issuing any burn permits at this time, and that people should be extra cautious with fireworks. McGee Park will open up their parking lots for residents to set off their personal fireworks over the holiday.

Fran Fillerup also spoke to commissioners about the bridge on County Road 5500 that has been placed as a top priority for replacement in the county. The bridge, located in Lee Acres, is over 40 years old and the replacement will be a $4.5 million project.

Carpenter said he had received some calls about the old bridge at Cedar Hill and a study needs to be done on it, but there is no money in the budget this fiscal year for that. Right now, the bridge has been fenced off and no traffic, vehicle or pedestrian, is allowed on it for safety reasons.


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