Trash ordinance closer to being in the bag

By Jean Verlich: CNJ news editor

Clovis residents get ready to bag trash.

City commissioners approved the introduction of an ordinance requiring residents and businesses place garbage in “a securely tied plastic bag” before discarding in Polycarts and dumpsters.

The ordinance also prohibits “tampering with plastic bags and garbage” in those receptacles.

Enactment of the ordinance will be voted on at the April 19 Commission meeting.

Fines for violating the ordinance will not exceed $500 or imprisonment of more than 90 days, or both, the same fines as set in the current ordinance.

The Commission had asked the Keep Clovis Beautiful/Clovis Pride Committee to develop the recommendations, and had rejected the committee’s first proposal in November. At issue was enforcement.

Clovis Pride Executive Coordinator Rob Carter said the requirements in the amended ordinance define trash as “small rubbish.”

Mayor David Lansford said the “objective … is to minimize or reduce … the amount of paper, plastic (and) Styrofoam that is becoming airborne as a result of trash collection.”

Mayor Pro-Tem Randal Crowder asked the city’s building safety director, Pete Wilt, to address enforcement.

“We are just going to use common sense to enforce it,” Wilt said, adding that the ordinance “will give us some teeth to work with.”

But Crowder argued that more definition is needed in the language of the ordinance to avoid ambiguity.

City Attorney Dave Richards was asked to review the language of the ordinance to “clean up” any areas subject to different interpretation.
Meetings watch

Commissioners:
• Agreed to survey land owned by Max Frazier adjacent to Sorgen Lake for an easement to allow channeling of storm water. According to city officials, Frazier is in agreement with the easement if the city will install a crossing for him to access his property east of the easement.

The easement is intended to help alleviate drainage problems of water flowing south on North Thornton Street onto Llano Estacado Boulevard.

• Re-elected James Curtis and elected Karl Spence to the Civil Aviation Board.

• Declared April Senior Olympics Month.