Commission makes money, spends money

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In other action

In other action, the commission:

• Awarded construction project for culverts - small tunnels to focus water drainage - to Nebraska-based Ace/Eaton Metals. The company had the low bid out of six, coming in at $21,075.

"I'd like to go local," Moffat County Commissioner Tom Mathers said, "but that's too big a gap (between bids)."

• Approved an application to plow a Moffat County senior citizen's driveway. The county has a program to plow driveways and walkways for citizens 65 years and older, provided their property meets certain criteria.

• Selected four new Fair Board members: Tammy Villard, Justin Pankey, Bryce Jacobson and Nancy Hettinger.

• Renewed the $130-a-month sublease at Bakers Peak for Communications Technologies.

— The Moffat County Commission said taxpayers want them to run the county like a business.

Debts are bad, and having to pay them are even worse.

With that in mind, the commission approved proposed fee increases for the Moffat County Landfill at its meeting Tuesday.

The fees are effective April 1, 2008.

The new fee schedule raises most waste costs by $5 per ton for residents, and most costs by $10 a ton for nonresidents.

Tire fees remain the same.

All fees should remain consistent for the next five years, barring any regulation changes or other unforeseen issues, Tinneal Gerber, Moffat County budget analyst, wrote in a memo to the commission.

The landfill is one of the only self-sufficient entities in the county, and the commission wants to keep it that way.

"I'd be hesitant if we weren't gaining efficiency and just passing on the costs," commissioner Tom Gray said. "I'm glad to see, that even though this is the only landfill in the county, we're not just saying this is the cost of doing business, but we're getting better."

The extra fee revenue is planned to stay with the landfill budget.

The landfill recently purchased a new compressor for $560,000 and a new loader for $160,000. The machines will increase productivity, but will need to be replaced in the future.

The landfill also is preparing for expansion in the next 20 years or more, said Nick Rubley, Moffat County Landfill daily operations manager.

The landfill is about to fill one pit, and it has two more before it needs any extra.

In other news, the proposed sand and salt storage facility for road maintenance is closer to becoming a reality.

Two bids submitted to the county came in more than $60,000 higher than what the county budgeted for the project.

This has to do partly with the lag time in getting grant dollars from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. The building's construction estimates were submitted in 2005, said Linda DeRose, road and bridge department manager.

The commission decided to go back to DOLA for extra funding to make up at least some of the difference. Since DOLA mostly offers matching grants, the county could be responsible for the rest of the money.

The commission tabled the decision to approve one of the bids until the county knows how much money, if any, DOLA is willing to contribute. Gray also did not want to approve a plan without knowing specifically where the county's extra portion would come from.

"I don't disagree that we need to get this done," Gray said, "but I think it's a slippery slope to say, 'Oh, we'll find the money somewhere.' That can get real tricky."

Collin Smith can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 209, or cesmith@craigdailypress.com

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