County saves $900K in landfill costs

Using county personnel results in greater efficiencies; two positions unfilled

Running its landfill with county staffers last year saved Mesa County nearly $1 million, officials told the county commissioners on Tuesday.



Running its landfill with county staffers last year saved Mesa County nearly $1 million, officials told the county commissioners on Tuesday.

The commission agreed in 2015 to operate the landfill the following year with its own staff rather than seek a new contractor.

The county’s finance department has completed the comparisons of cost savings and said the change saved $902,000, a trend that Pete Baier, assistant county administrator for operations, said would generally continue.

Costs to operate the landfill went from $3,456,615 to $2,556,816, the finance department calculated. The savings won’t ease the pressure on the general fund, though, as the landfill is an enterprise fund, Baier said.

Still, it makes operating the landfill more efficient and the saved money will go into funds to find a new landfill site and to ensure that the existing one will be monitored when it closes, Baier said. Money also will be set aside for new equipment.

Much of the savings came in the form of reduced personnel costs, including the loss of two positions, Baier said.

However, it brought greater efficiency in that managers at the landfill can direct all employees to deal with immediate issues, such as dealing with blowing trash during winds, Baier said. Contractor’s employees couldn’t be redirected to pressing tasks when they didn’t work for the county, but those jobs are now filled by county employees, he said.

Eventually the county might replace the two positions that were cut, but Baier said he expects efficiencies to continue holding down costs.


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