Committee postpones vote on sanitation fees

CNJ staff photo: Kevin Wilson Lifeguards Morris Sharp and Evie Fisher watch over Wednesday afternoon’s “When the Bell Rings” after-school program at the Clovis Wellness Center. The center is one of a many areas where city departments looking for fee increase approvals. If the city commission approves fee increases next Thursday, individual open swims will go up $1 ” $4 from $3 for adults, and $3 from $2 for children.

Kevin Wilson

The Clovis revenue review committee is taking another meeting to work out its trash troubles.

The committee agreed Wednesday to come back in a week for another look at proposed sanitation fee increases. The meeting will be 5:30 p.m. at the city hall.

Members are trying to cover for deficits in the collection and landfill departments. Residential rates would rise from $29.93 per quarter to $37.53 per quarter, including taxes, and landfill rates would change for other customers.

The current landfill rate is $26 per ton for all waste. Recommendations would create four different divisions of waste — municipal solid waste (brought in from Portales and other cities) at $30 per ton, $11 per ton for construction and demolition debris, $18 for green waste (grass clippings, etc.) and $66 per ton for asbestos with a $200 minimum.

Todd Farrell, who represents District 1 on the committee, had an issue with the different increases. He said residents were being charged a 26 percent increase on collection service, but other landfill users only had to incur a 15 percent increase on the MSW tonnage fee.

City Manager Joe Thomas said residents were bearing both the landfill increase, and the separate increases in collection.

Chairman Fred Van Soelen said the municipalities get a break in the essence because they don’t have to build their own landfills, but they are not getting a cut-rate compared to Clovis’ own residents.

Other fee changes would include:

• Pool admissions, from $3 for adults and $2 for children to $4 and $3, respectively; from $85 per 90 minutes for pool parties to $100; and $2.50 increases in 10-use punch cards ($17.50 to $20 for kids and $27.50 to $30 for adults) and $10 increases for 20-use punch cards ($30 to $40 for kids, $50 to $60 for adults).

• Deletion of photograph fees from the Clovis Police Department ($7 for first 20, 50 cents each for photos beyond 20).

• Building safety fees, including a doubling of mobile home placement for residential ($25 to $50) and commercial ($50 to $100).

“The goal of what we’re looking at is to get as close to a break-even as we can,” Van Soelen said. “We don’t want to run at a deficit, we don’t want to charge too much.”

Other city fee changes have been discussed and will be voted on later as recommendations for the city commission. None of the rate changes would take effect until they are approved by the commission.

Had all of the items been approved Wednesday, they would have been put before the commission at its Oct. 21 meeting.