Mickey Barry, owner of Angel of Shavano Recycling, told Chaffee County commissioners that due to the continued fall of prices for recycled materials, there were three options for next year when it came to recycling within the county.

Option one was an increase to the budget for Angel of Shavano from $110,000 to $170,000. Barry made it clear that this was not a subsidy, but the cost to manage and pick up from the three recycling sites within the county. This cost would be split between the county and the municipalities. 

Option two was for the county to take over the management of the recycle sites, delivering the material to Angel of Shavano’s site for them to bundle and sell. Angel of Shavano would give the county a 30 percent cut on the sale of the materials.

Option three was for the county to outright purchase Angel of Shavano Recycling and taking over the entire operation.

Commissioner Greg Felt said he thought it is important to continue recycling, but asked if it was possible to document just how much space was being saved every year at the Chaffee County Landfill through recycling.

Barry said a quick, off-the-cuff estimate would be about 4 million pounds of materials, but didn’t know exactly now much space that would save. He also suggested raising the fees at the landfill slightly to help offset the costs of recycling.

Felt said commissioners would take a look at the options and return to the matter during one of their early October meetings, either Oct. 6 or Oct. 13.

Scott Peterson with Chaffee County Visitors Bureau, said lodgers tax year to date, which runs two months in arrears, so is actually November 2019 to June 2020, is only down 8 percent. 

He said if you don’t take in November and December 2019, they are down 30 percent, but that he has heard from local hotels and motels that July and August were good months, and that “we are bound to come out of this (COVID-19) better then we imagined.”

Peterson said that this year the visitor’s bureau is reducing their budget by 10 percent, asking for $652,500.

He said the state is pushing a big fall advertising program and that Monarch Mountain is recording record number of season passes sold, so he said he thinks this fall and winter will be big for tourism in the area.

Felt said he and Andrea Carlstrom, Chaffee County Public Health director, met with representatives from Monarch and “their game plan looks very impressive.”

Peterson spoke about Discovery Pass, an on-line application for local advertising and discounts that was going to be implemented soon. 

Wendell Pryor, Chaffee County Economic Development Corp. director spoke to the commissioner about the work they have been doing. 

He said they have been in discussions with Colorado Mountain College about workforce development in the county, and a company named Protein Foods had recently approached them about growing quinoa in the valley, perhaps working with the Buena Vista Correctional Complex.

Pryor announced he will be retiring in 2021 and requested commissioners consider a salary increase to his position for a new hire. 

“I’m not going anywhere, I’m going to be spoiling my grandchildren,” Pryor said.

The Economic Development Corp. is still finalizing their budget requests and will submit it later.

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