Winter Park wrestles with recycling | SkyHiNews.com

Winter Park wrestles with recycling

Stephanie Miller
Sky-Hi News

Two Middle Park High School students, Blake Neville (left), and Kevin McCauley, present to the Winter Park town board Tuesday their ideas for an art project at the Hideaway Park skate park. The students suggested graffiti-like art painted inside the concrete bowls of the skate park. The council denied the idea of painting the bowls because the paint may be too slick. Instead the council decided students should paint artwork and display it on the fencing in the park, which also is more in keeping with the overall theme of Hideaway Park, officials noted.

A couple of Winter Park residents expressed frustration Tuesday night about recycling.

Bill Hardardt asked Winter Park Town Council members point blank why the town can’t dish out funds for recycling when reports show that sales tax revenue for the town is up.

“I’m frustrated with not having recycling. We have the money. Let’s get it going, please,” Hardardt said.

County Commissioner James Newberry, who was present at last night’s meeting along with commissioners Nancy Stuart and Gary Bumgarner, explained to Hardardt that there are no companies willing to do recycling in Grand County ” except The Trash Company, which bid at roughly $310,000 a year for the whole county. Valley Recycles and Waste Management did not bid.

Grand County, Fraser and Grand Lake have already expressed that they feel that bid is too high.

“There’s no one out there to do it. (But) there’s other options out there,” said Newberry, who suggested letting the request for proposal (RFP) run its course, and then Grand County can present a new plan. Newberry explained he could not divulge the new plan until all entities agree to deny the bid by The Trash Company.

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They have until March 21 to make a decision.

“You have to go through the process first,” he said, referring to the RFP. “We’re frustrated just like everyone else. This is an issue in every rural county in the state. There are other avenues out there we will explore.”

Some ideas floating around include having Valley Recycles put drop-off bins back at the East Grand Fire District site, which would be a short-term solution. The county and towns are also looking five to 10 years down the road to find a more long-term recycling program, Newberry said.

Council Member Chris Seemann also expressed frustration and asked if Winter Park and Fraser should look into paying for their own recycling. Mayor Nick Teverbaugh pointed out that the endeavor would “not be inexpensive,” and Town Planner David Torgler explained such a program includes cost of gas, transportation, the bins themselves, workman’s compensation and other pricey items.

Council Member Jimmy Lahrman added that residents from Pole Creek and Tabernash would probably also use the site, and it would soon be overwhelmed.

Council members were not against the idea, however, and agreed to further explore the option, as well as look into other venues. They did not make a decision on the bid from The Trash Company.

Valley Taxi seeking funds to survive mud season and beyond

Valley Taxi is the Valley’s newest and only 365-day a year transportation service. It is also the only transportation that runs late at night and provides rides to and from restaurants and bars ” cutting down on drunk driving incidents.

Owner Matt Lloyd spoke to the town board, and talked about the success his company has seen throughout the winter, and the type of services residents and guests have started to depend on.

“We’re not sure what to expect in the mud season,” he admitted. “We don’t want to cut our service. We feel it’s a good service and we like to get people home safely,” Lloyd said.

Lloyd said the company was looking for funding to help it through mud season and slower times. He thinks Valley Taxi will lose roughly 60 percent of its businesses after the ski season ends.

“We don’t want to shut our doors.”

Lahrman suggested looking into some transportation grants that are available to year-round transportation services, and Seemann said the company and the town may need to figure out a short-term plan, and perhaps discuss more when the town is in it’s next budgeting cycle in the fall. No concrete decisions were made last night.

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