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Fees dropped at transfer station

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By David Giuliani

City solid waste customers can now bring trash for free to the transfer station.

Mayor Alfonso Ortiz has signed an executive order waiving fees for people to bring garbage to the station. All they have to do is show a city utility bill for proof.

Alvin Jiron, the solid waste manager, said the order takes effect Monday.

Officials said the order was an attempt to reduce the amount of illegal dumping in alleys and arroyos.

But Ortiz warned that the city would have to make up for the lost revenue, so that may mean an increase to customers monthly solid waste bills. As it stands, the solid waste fund has run a deficit for years.

“We’re going to try to minimize the price (to customers) as much as possible,” the mayor said at Wednesday’s City Council meeting.

The executive order is temporary, but city officials hope to make the change permanent by ordinance.  

Council members praised the mayor for his action.

“You are allowing people to have pride in the city by not charging them for beautification,” Councilwoman Diane Moore said.

City Manager Timothy Dodge, who is from Santa Rosa, said that one thing he noticed when he arrived in Las Vegas a little more than a year ago was the litter in the community.

“The transfer station isn’t inviting. Residential customers have had to pay an additional fee on top of their utility bills,” Dodge said.

Councilman Andrew Feldman said the solid waste department is broken.

“We have a fleet with no maintenance schedule, and no one to maintain it. Management is an issue,” he said.

He again repeated his call for privatizing the solid waste utility, as some communities have done. He said the city could insist that a private company keep the city solid waste employees.

“I’m glad to see an executive order issued for the right reasons,” the councilman said.

In another development, Ortiz appointed a task force to look into the city’s recycling. Many are unhappy about how the city has handled recycling.

Alex Aragon, a resident involved in city issues, is the task force’s chairman.

“I will take this job like a bulldog,” Aragon said.