At a Sept. 29 special meeting, Hotchkiss trustees voted unanimously to award Double J Disposal, Inc. a five-year contract for trash collection. Double J submitted one of two bids for the service. Those receiving once-weekly residential service will see their bill rise from $11.50 to $12.50. Double J's weekly residential pickup rate will rise from $9.50 to $10.50, and the town will continue to charge $2 for the cost of bookkeeping, billing cards and printing.
The increase begins in November and will be reflected in customers' December billing.
Double J will now charge $23 for customers wanting an optional 96-gallon toter. Weekly rates for dumpsters will also rise to $39 for two-yard, $50.50 for three-, $70 for four-, and $105 for six-yard dumpsters. Pickup service for Town Hall, the public works and fire departments, parks and the library will be supplied at no charge.
The contract allows for Double J to discuss with the town a possible surcharge to cover unforeseen expenses in the event landfill fees are raised or the price of fuel escalates.
The town also received a bid from Waste Management for $17.25 per resident per week.
Trustees also granted a request from local rancher Dan Bolton to graze about 1,100 sheep on roughly 18 acres on Barrow Mesa, within town limits, for a period not to exceed 30 days. Bolton said the sheep will graze an estimated seven to 10 days. His request included two letters of support from neighboring residents.
Bolton said a sheepherder's camp will also be set up, but there will be no guard dog due to past issues.
Trustees unanimously approved the request, with James Roberts adding that it helps cut down on fire danger.
Since he makes the request annually, Bolton asked if it's possible to be granted a three- to five-year variance to avoid having to go through the process every year. Due to the fact that neighbors could change during that time, trustee Tom Wills recommended that Bolton submit a letter of request, and that he doesn't need to attend the hearing.
"I will just do it every year," said Bolton. "I appreciate the way you do things."
Following the meeting, trustees and staff, including Sheriff Dan Miller, public works director Mike Owens, and town engineer Joanne Fagan went into executive session, followed by a public work session.