Monticello Council raises rates at city landfill
by Joe Boyle
Members of the Monticello City Council raised rates at the city landfill, heard a proposal for the airport, and discussed city input for the management of the Bears Ears National Monument at their June 28 meeting.
At the latest meeting, two different landfill rates were presented to the City Council.
One proposal saw rates raised across the board for all landfill users, and the other saw county residents outside of city limits taking a larger increase of the financial burden.
The city unanimously voted on the plan that saw non-city residents paying more, with city residents seeing only a slight increase. The new rates are printed on the bottom of page.
They mentioned it is likely city residents will see even larger increases in the future.
Councilwomen Kim Henderson said, “As much as we’d like to say we don’t want to see city citizens’ [cost] raised, I think it has to be some… Rather than having to do a huge leap, this is more incremental.”
Representatives from the group San Juan Public Entry and Access Rights (SPEAR) came to the Monticello City council to encourage the city to enter into Cooperative Agency status with the Bureau of Land Management regarding the Bears Ears National Monument if given the opportunity.
During the June 28 City Council meeting, John Fellmeth of SPEAR made his pitch for the partnership to the council.
The BLM recently entered into agreements regarding the management of the monument.
A co-management agreement between the BLM, US Forest Service, and members of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition was signed on June 18.
On June 21, the San Juan County Commission joined as a cooperating agency to develop the monument resource management plan.
Fellmeth said that the city having some say in how the Bears Ears is managed would greatly benefit an organization like SPEAR.
“We’d like to see the city’s efforts to work with this plan, to represent individuals in the community interested in motorized access on roads and trails,” said Fellmeth. “That’s our purpose and what we do at SPEAR.”
According to Fellmeth, being on the ground level of the planning process of the monument would give the city a clearer picture of how the future of the city economic status could look.
Representatives from Armstrong Consulting presented a plan to the City Council for the city airport before the official meeting started.
The roughly 20-year plan has many lofty goals in place with the point of being flexible with the city.
“It’s a plan, not a blueprint,” said Judd Hill, one of the representatives. “It gives ideas of how growth can happen in an organized fashion.”
The main points of emphasis that were laid out in the plan were to extend the airstrip to cause less clutter while parking the aircraft, as well as to improve equipment to make the airstrip consistently usable, regardless of weather conditions.
Representatives from Armstrong Consulting says the surrounding farm area and lack of infrastructure make the airport a great location for growth without the complications at other airports.
The city could get funding from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on these projects if it is able to show proof of need.
A discussion on the possibility of reclassifying some areas in Monticello to R2 (Medium Density Residential Zoning District) was also briefly discussed, namely the east side of 100 West.
The hope is that this area would become more appealing to possible buyers of property. No official decisions were made.
The city will also see new signs promoting the Big 4 Tractor (including the new name of the barn that houses the tractor in honor of volunteer Winn Westcott). Each sign will cost $1,275. The Rotary Club will purchase one and the city will purchase the rest.
The city council also briefly discussed concerns about the state of the golf course.
To help maintenance at the course, the city will create a feedback sheet so golfers – mainly from out of town – can share their opinion on what needs to be addressed.