Trash measure passes despite opposition

By Jean Verlich: CNJ News Editor

Clovis residents must bag their garbage before disposing of it for city collection in Polycarts and Dumpsters as a result of an ordinance passed Thursday by the Clovis City Commission.

Commissioner Fred Van Soelen opposed the measure because he said the issue is with the city’s collection system and the solution is being placed on the citizens.

A better system is needed, he said, and “not put the onus on the taxpayer to fix the system.”

Commissioner Robert Sandoval also voted against its passage because of concerns about the environmental impact of plastic bags.
Commissioner Len Vohs, who chairs the Clovis Pride Committee, supported the measure.

“This gives us something in place for us to take advantage of,” Vohs said.”This might be a step closer to the right direction.”

Mayor David Lansford supported the ordinance, saying waste is produced by human beings and it needs to be disposed of in a “correct and unoffensive manner.”

“I just think it’s a responsible thing to do,” Lansford said. “I don’t think it’s unenforceable.”

The ordinance requires food waste, paper, cans, bottles and “materials that can become airborne when exposed to the elements” to “be placed in a securely tied plastic bag.” Weeds, grass and lawn waste do not need to be placed in plastic garbage bags.
The fine for violating the ordinance is not more than $500, not more than 90 days in jail, or both.

Commissioners also took long-awaited action to revise the city’s off-street parking regulations so that construction of a new movie theater can begin. The city code was amended to require one parking space for every four seats. Previously, one space was needed for every three seats.

The movie theater is being developed by Sam Snell, who had asked the code be amended to require one space for every five seats.
Snell said previously he and his wife, Julie Snell, are planning a 10-screen movie complex in the city’s northern corridor behind Roden Smith Village on Llano Estacado Boulevard. An entrance will be on Wallace Street and Axtell Street will be extended to North Prince Street, Snell said.

Commissioners agreed to sell portions of two plots of city land acquired in late 2003 for drainage. One plot of nearly two acres faces North Prince Street just south of Sunset Drive. A second plot to the east in a more remote area is about 5.6 acres. City attorney David Richards said the city has determined what is needed for drainage and will sell the remainder.

The city will take offers until May 22. Information will be available at City Hall.

At Thursday’s Clovis City Commission meeting, commissioners:
—Proclaimed April and May as Great American Cleanup Months.
—Presented public works supervisor Chris Spencer with a clock in honor of being named
distinguished supervisor of the quarter.
—Adopted a resolution responding to the draft environmental impact statement supporting the mission change at Cannon Air Force Base. The resolution reads, “None of the proposed operational changes will adversely impact citizens of
eastern New Mexico.”
—Approved participation in the programs of the Eastern Plains Council of Governments for fiscal year 2007-2008.
—Heard from Clovis Civic Center General Manager Neil McMullin about the center’s operations for three-quarters of the fiscal year. McMullin said Thursday marked the center’s one-year anniversary of its first event. Nearly 160 events were held between July and March.

Clovis Ordinance regarding garbage and trash
—Garbage: Waste food and waste from preparing, cooking and consuming food and handling, storing and selling food, and
animal carcasses.
—Rubbish: “All trash, wastepaper, paper cartons, clothing, discarded materials, ashes, cans, bottles, materials that can become airborne when exposed to the elements.”
—Organic waste: “Weeds, grass, clippings, tree limbs, shrubs, limbs, tree roots, brush, wood and weeds.”

Deposit Requirements
— “All garbage and rubbish (see exceptions) shall be placed in a securely tied plastic bag” and deposited in containers.
—“Organic waste is not required to be placed in plastic garbage bags.”
—“Garbage and rubbish that cannot be placed in plastic garbage bags shall be securely tied and bundled not over four feet in length and 75 pounds in weight.”
—No poisons, “chemicals, explosives, wastes contaminated by infectious disease, radioactive wastes, dead animals … or building materials shall be deposited in refuse containers.”

Source: City Ordinance no 1866-2007
regarding garbage and rubbish.