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City's landfill costs to increase 43%

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A 4.5-acre expansion project at the Adobe Buttes landfill has resulted in price increases for the City of Delta, Town of Paonia and private haulers who serve businesses and residences in Delta County.

Earlier this month, the Delta County Commissioners raised the per-ton tipping charge from $28 per ton to $40 per ton to cover state permits, operational expenses, monitoring/stormwater fees, equipment replacement costs and administrative support for the landfill.

City manager David Torgler said the price increase will cost the city an additional $55,000 annually, and will force city council to consider rate increases for 2018.

At a joint city-county meeting Aug. 22, county administrator Robbie LeValley said the commissioners understand the significance of the price increase, and so wanted to get the details out before the city finalizes its 2018 budget.

LeValley acknowledged there is some "catchup" taking place; in the past there's been some reluctance to raise rates due to the fear of dumping in the 'dobies. Moving forward, however, the county will take a look at landfill rates every other year.

Based on current tonnage, the 4.5-acre expansion will be filled in five to six years. Future cells have already been identified, but will likely cost even more to prepare as state requirements become even more stringent.

The landfill is on track to take in 30,000 tons of waste in 2017, county commissioner Doug Atchley said. As the county grows and construction activity picks up, so will the tonnage.

LeValley said a price analysis shows Adobe Buttes is still one of the lower-priced landfills in western Colorado, with regional rates ranging from $38 to $63 per ton.

City and county officials also discussed the county master plan and the open space/recreation plans both are in the process of developing. There is a continued desire to see the plans mesh with each other, as well as activity on surrounding public lands.

Wilma Erven, director of parks, recreation and golf for the city, said preliminary survey results are in, with trails and maintenance coming to the forefront. LeValley said trails have also been identified as a priority at county meetings. "Of course, each user group wants their own trail," she said.

During a brief update on the Delta Urban Renewal Authority, the county said it has agreed to the 30-day extension requested by the city to avoid mediation. Both sides were optimistic about reaching agreement on tax incentive financing for the riverfront project.

Broadband remains a topic of high interest for both the city and the county. Region 10 has brought fiberoptic to the ML&P plant in Delta, but anchor institutions like the city, county, hospital, school and library are waiting word about the next step. In the meantime, the city is working on identifying internet service providers who can provide "last mile" service to individual homes and businesses. Elevate, a DMEA subsidiary and one of those internet service providers, is preregistering customers in the Delta area.

The city provided an update on TAILS' lease of the animal shelter, and the county reported sales tax is up about 2 percent year-to-date. City sales tax collections are tracking closely at 2.2 percent. In 2016, city sales tax increased about 2.7 percent. Commissioner Doug Atchley said the sales tax increase is "kind of surprising."

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