By Lillian Bowe
Roosevelt County will no longer be paying the fee for county residents to dump trash at the Portales Convenience Center, it was decided Thursday at a special Commission meeting.
With an increase in expenditures by the county due to replacing the HVAC system at the courthouse, County Manager Charlene Webb said cuts needed to be made. The replacement of HVAC system was a preventive measure after eight types of mold were discovered in the courthouse by a private lab consultant.
“We cannot budget for this. We are basically writing a blank check each month,” Webb said.
The commission agreed that cuts had to be made to fix a shortfall in its budget.
“We have to tighten our belts. It’s not a pleasant task, but we have to do it,” said County Commission Chair Kendell Buzard.
Webb said the change won’t take effect until Sept. 1, so the county has enough time to inform county residence of the change. After Sept. 1, county residents will be billed for dumping at the Convenience Center.
Webb said the amount of money the county has had to spend is not consistent. In the 2011-2012 fiscal year the cost was about $63,000. The 2012-2013 fiscal year was a little more than $67,500 and 2013-2014 was $59,850.
Before the change, city employees at the center would take addresses and look at driver’s licenses of the people dumping to verify if they live in the county or in the city. This measure made sure city residents paid the fee while county residents did not have to pay.
“What this will change for us is just an increase in billing,” said Portales Public Works Director John DeSha.
Webb said in Curry County, all residents must pay to dump at their landfill.
One concern the commissioners had about not paying the fees would be the likelihood of increased trash being dumped in the bar ditches outside Portales city limits.
Buzard said county residents could pay for a service to take out their trash as residents in Dora have done.
Buzard said this might be temporary for the residents because the county may return to paying the fee.
“We will see how it goes,” Buzard said.