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Granada Landfill Facing October Deadline

 

 

The Granada Trustees were provided with a brief update on the legislative side of their landfill problem by Prowers County Commissioner, Tom Grasmick, during their monthly meeting, July 12th.  The state’s health department, CDPHE, has given the community until October to make the required changes to the way the landfill is operated, measures that outpace the town’s budget.  Even the cost of closing the landfill and setting up mandatory testing wells are beyond Granada’s budget.  And then there’s the problem of what to do with all the refuse if the landfill closes.

Grasmick said, “We’ve sent another letter to the governor, asking for some help with this problem, but we won’t be able to see if any relief is available from the legislature for consideration until next year.” Numerous small towns, including southeast Colorado communities, are facing the similar problem of costly, mandated procedures for each of their landfills.  The Lamar City Council devoted a portion of their Monday night work session to the landfill budget, concluding that rates for refuse collection within the city will have to be raised to keep pace with increased costs for its operation.  City Administrator, John Sutherland, informed the council that the Springfield community has expressed an interest in being able to ship their refuse to Lamar if their landfill closes.  The operation and financial structure of becoming a regional facility was briefly discussed by the City Council, but no action was taken.

Granada Mayor, Glenn Otto, said he intends to contact Lamar Mayor Roger Stagner, for some background discussions on options. Granada residents pay a $4 monthly service charge for refuse collection, which for the entire community, is estimated at from 10-15 tons per week.  The Trustees scheduled a workshop to devote more time to finding a solution.

The Trustees voted to accept credit card payments for utility bills and for speeding tickets. They opted for a no-charge, state-operated program known as Colorado.gov payment process.  Mayor Otto said the town will not be charged a user’s fee for the operation of the card scanner.  The new payment option will be one way to capture fees for fines paid by out-of-town speeders.

Following steps being taken by other Prowers County communities, the Trustees voted to accept the proposed increased monthly fee for E911 telephone emergency services. Since 1993, when the service was initially provided, users were charged $0.70 on their phone bill to cover expenses.  The recommended increase doubles the fee to $1.40 and once all communities have acted on the proposal, the request will be forwarded to the PUC for approval.

Only one application was received for the position of part-time town clerk. The Trustees recommended continuing advertising for the ten hour per week job until it is filled.

By Russ Baldwin

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