City to use survey to decide landfill hours
So a two-week survey will be announced in the South Jetty newspaper after the holidays. Citizens will be directed to a page on the city's Web site, where they can weigh in on the landfill question.
Mayor Claude Brown and Councilmen Charles Bujan and Keith Donley have gotten an earful from citizens who want the city's dump open on Sundays.
Currently, hours at the landfill are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, with a noon closure so a city employee who monitors the property can take a lunch break.
Citizens have complained about not being able to access the site on Sunday, especially, although area landscapers would prefer to have it open on Monday as well.
"I've had several citizens express concern about the Sunday and Monday closure," said Bujan.
"I've had phone calls and everybody was upset. There are people that are interested in this," Donley said.
Following a problem that area fish cleaners encountered over the Thanksgiving holiday - with several thousand pounds of fish sitting and rotting in barrels for two days - several of them were given keys to the landfill for access when it is closed.
Bujan and Donley did not like that solution.
"All kinds of things can happen when you give somebody a key," Bujan said, indicating that the city could be liable for unsupervised dump visitors.
Brown said he saw two trucks full of trash heading into Charlie's Pasture (used by many as an illegal dump site) on a Monday when the landfill is closed.
"How much does it cost to pick up trash that's dumped in Charlie's Pasture?" he asked.
Public Works Director Douglas Box was the originator of the land- fill's new hours, and he said there have been no negative comments.
"Some people said they like that it's open at 8 a.m.," Box said. Formerly, the landfill was opening from 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. seven days a week.
"It's not just dollars. When we were open seven days a week, we took employees away from street and beach crews," he said.
Donley suggested opening the landfill from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday to accommodate residents who trim their trees and collect other trash on weekends.
"The landfill is a very important operation to the city. It allows people to remove brush, debris and building materiasl they need to get rid of. Shutting down on Monday hampers people who are trying to make a living. Closing on Sunday is not a good operation," Brown said.
"The council will make a decision through a survey in the paper. I hope everyone will take the time to fill out the survey and tell them how they feel," he said.
City Manager Michael Kovacs said the survey will be publicized in the South Jetty after the holidays when more residents might be available to participate in the survey.
"We will specifically ask about Sunday hours," Kovacs said.