The recycling bin behind Mancos High School will once again be emptied every week.
Mancos trustees unanimously voted at their meeting Wednesday to fund two extra pickups per month for the remainder of 2016, at a cost of $420 per month. Trustee Michele Black was absent from the meeting.
“The town should step up to the plate to provide this,” Mayor Rachael Simbeck said.
Due to decreases in commodities costs, the price to haul the bin to the Montezuma County Landfill increased from $150 to $210 per pull, said Casey Simpson of the Four Corners Recycling Initiative (FCRI), which facilitates the Mancos bin.
Previously, the bin had been hauled to the landfill and emptied each week. But when the price went up, the Initiative — a non-profit, volunteer-driven group — became unable to pay for weekly pulls, Simpson said. They scaled back to just two per month in January, he said.
Mancos recycles more than anywhere else in the area, Simpson said.
But with fewer pulls, the bin became overfilled, especially in the cardboard section, he said. People were leaving cardboard outside the bin. Because the bin is near the Mancos River, wind occasionally blew cardboard and other items into the river, he said.
Since the bin is on school property, high school custodial staff had been tasked with cleaning it up. Mancos School District Superintendent Brian Hanson said at the school board’s meeting last month that the mess around the bin was becoming a problem.
Simpson said the Initiative was approaching local businesses for funding in exchange for advertising such as a logo on the bin. He said several businesses had already agreed to contribute.
Trustee Matthew Baskin said the $420-per-month cost is a small price to pay, and would cost around $12 a year per household in Mancos.
“This would be the most cost-effective service we could provide,” he said.
Also at the meeting, the board authorized Town Administrator Andrea Phillips to apply for the Colorado Creative Industries (CCI) Space to Create Program.
The program, funded in part by CCI, the Department of Local Affairs and the Boettcher Foundation, aims to construct affordable housing for artists and other creatives in Colorado communities. CCI is interested in investing in southwest Colorado, and Mancos is competing with Ridgway for the program, Phillips said.
Representatives from the funding groups will be conducting a site visit to Mancos on May 11, and town officials should know if Mancos is selected shortly after, Phillips said.
If Mancos is selected, the town would be responsible for contributing up to $35,000 for a feasibility and market study for the project, Phillips said. She suggested the Mancos Creative District contribute $15,000 of that, with the town contributing $5,000. Officials would approach local businesses, organizations and property owners to raise the remaining $15,000, she said.
The Board of Trustees had set aside $10,000 for marketing the town in its 2016 budget. The board unanimously approved taking $5,000 from that fund and contributing it to the Space to Create feasibility study.
Board members said the program would be an excellent way to market the town.
“It’s a push for community development,” Trustee Lorraine Becker said.
Also at the meeting, Phillips announced that the town has received a $42,000 grant from Great Outdoors Colorado for improvements and enhancements at Cottonwood Park.
The board on Wednesday approved awarding a $1,000 grant to Momentum Fitness, a 24-hour gym at 200 E. Frontage Road. The grant will be for facade improvements at the business.
This was the last Board of Trustees meeting the current trustees will participate in. Incoming Trustees Ed Hallam, Craig Benally and Fred Brooks will be sworn in at the next meeting April 27. Trustees Matthew Baskin and Lorraine Becker were re-elected to the board. Current trustee Queenie Barz will assume the mayoral chair, and current mayor Simbeck will step down. Mayor Pro-Tem Todd Kearns and trustee Will Stone also will step down.