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Rifle Garfield County Airport becomes possible focal point for economic development

The Aspen Institute is currently seeking feedback from Rifle city leaders on whether they think using the Rifle Garfield County Airport as an attractive lure for spurring new industry and commerce is viable.

Aspen Institute Director of Community Engagement Evan Zislis told Rifle City Council and staff during a Wednesday workshop the airport could be used to attract new business opportunities like aviation tours, pilot- and military-training courses, skydive operations and more. He said the area could potentially become the “flight and freefall capital of Colorado.

“If the Colorado River Valley could become known for those industries, could we attract manufacturing associated with some of that stuff?” he said.

This idea to drum up new industry stems from a recent move carried out by city managers and local stakeholders from New Castle to Parachute to create what’s called the Colorado River Valley Economic Development Partnership. It’s a concerted effort to bring new businesses to Western Garfield County.

Brainstorming efforts have now led to what Zislis is calling a 40-year vision, which aims to use current infrastructure like the airport to create new options over time to sustain and advance the local economy. 

“We started getting everyone’s input,” he explained. “What are the next 100 years of the local economy going to look like? What is it going to be based in? What is it going to be rooted in?”
The Rifle airport itself is the preferred alternative for airports in Aspen and Eagle County during weather closures. Its runway, 7,000-by-100 feet, can accommodate aircraft as large as 727s and 737s. According to aeronautical website airnav.com, the Rifle airport averages 39 aircraft operations per day.

Airport Director and Rifle City Council Member Brian Condie said Garfield County commissioners have, so far, not said whether they support the Aspen Institute proposal to leverage the airport.

Condie said, however, with changing demographics and people continuing to move from cities to more rural places like Rifle, it’s better to take an organized approach to using the airport to bolster the local economy.

“There’s a lot of potential here,” he said.

But Aspen Institute’s proposal sparked some concern from Rifle Mayor Ed Green. He worried bringing in new aviation-related businesses could affect overall airport operations, and that it doesn’t simply cater to places like Aspen.

“One thing that I think is essential is this: These new activities be complementary and don’t overpower (Condie’s) main resource,” he said. “I think a couple other things that I see is, we don’t want this to be disguised as support for the upper valley.

“If we’re going to do it, we’re going to do it because we want to house our own people.”

Rifle has already been trying to leverage its artificial and natural infrastructure to bolster business. It’s currently building more bike trails at the Grand Hogback. It’s trying to turn Paradise Island into a recreational destination. There are even efforts to create a major rock-climbing celebration in town since Rifle Mountain Park is one of the most highly sought after destinations in the world for rock climbers.

Zislis’ ultimate goal is to garner as much feedback as he can from local leaders while also conducting focus groups addressing this 40-year vision. Based on what he finds out, Aspen Institute’s next step is to go out for grant funding with the aim of spending the funds on a consulting firm to conduct a feasibility study.

“This is all about building consensus,” he said.

Post Independent western Garfield County reporter and Assistant Editor Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or rerku@postindependent.com

New development code aimed at keeping downtown Glenwood Springs retail vibrant up for public engagement soon

The city of Glenwood Springs is considering development code changes to keep the main downtown area vibrant and lively. 

This concept is still on the drawing board, and at City Council this week staff will be asking for direction to begin public engagement to discuss amending the Downtown Design Standard Overlay.

“How can we maintain a vibrant downtown core, specifically on that first floor area where folks are walking around shopping, dining, etc., and how do we then tie that into the code?” Bryana Starbuck, the city’s public information officer, said of the intent of the code amendment. 

The proposal is to create a Downtown Commercial Overlay District with which new developments in the downtown core would be required to have 75% of the first floor be used to generate sales tax revenue, including lodging. It would only apply to newly constructed buildings, or buildings that are completely demolished and rebuilt.

“This overlay district would apply to when you have a new building that is a non-residential use,” said Emery Ellingson, community development planner for Glenwood. “So a very specific type of development.”

This area would be proposed to cover the area on Grand Avenue from Seventh Street to 10th Street, Cooper Avenue between Seventh and Eighth streets, and a little section where Seventh Street meets Blake Avenue, where the Hotel Denver, Glenwood Canyon Brewpub and the Amtrak train station are located. It also includes the section of business spaces on Sixth Street between the pedestrian bridge and the Grand Avenue Bridge.

The amendment is aimed to help bring more pedestrian-oriented downtown business, and specifies that this zoning code would only apply to new development on an open lot, or demolition of an existing property with new development. 

“I think that in the public input process, we will get business owners that may have ideas for their future and maybe see how this would apply to them,” Ellingson said.

The overlay amendment also proposes that 100% of the off-street, surface-level parking be behind the building being built. Parking structures proposed within the overlay zone are exempt from these standards and shall be processed according to the Special Use Permit process, the packet information states.

“During public outreach, we’ll take the input and then it will go back to City Council for consideration of an actual ordinance,” Ellingson said.

Since the city has pinpointed ideas that it thinks will work, staff is hoping to gauge council’s availability to begin the public engagement process. 

“That’s also something that we’ll be asking pretty directly at Thursday’s meeting, is what is council’s availability?” Danielle Campbell, the economic development specialist for the city said. “We want to make sure this is a conversation between council and the public.”

Post Independent reporter Cassandra Ballard can be reached at cballard@postindependent.com or 970-384-9131.

Backbone Media: Small town agency with big reach

In a small building on the corner of 4th Street and Colorado Avenue in Carbondale, employees of Backbone Media are hard at work representing brands they believe in as they head into their 25th year.

Some work standing, others in soundproof “Zoom tubes,” and some are just getting in after a morning of skiing. The office is filled with puppies wandering around, looking to be pet. The buzz throughout the building suggests the staff is working hard to represent their outdoor brands.

According to Backbone President Greg Williams, their personality as an agency is a “mountain guide.”

“Backbone is an extension of the brands we work for. We are a network. And that network has grown over time through the brands that we work with,” he said.

They currently work with 100 clients, including some iconic outdoor lifestyle brands such as Black Diamond, Eddie Bauer and Osprey. One notable brand they have helped for over 10 years is Yeti.

“When [Yeti] started out, nobody had ever heard of them,” Williams said. “Now they’re a multibillion dollar, publicly traded company. We’ve been with them from the start, and have evolved that relationship.”

Backbone employees on bikes outside of the Carbondale headquarters.
Backbone Media/Courtesy photo

Backbone views client relationships as crucial. Although their headquarters is in Carbondale, they have an office in Denver and remote employees across the nation. Operating out of a small town comes with its challenges, but the positives far outweigh the negatives, Williams said. Being in a mountain town where there is hiking, biking, skiing and climbing just outside the office allows Backbone to test out the products they support.

“We’ve always been a little bit of road warriors. We’re not afraid to get on the road. We want a seat at the table,” said Williams.

While some companies may find a nationwide reach to be scary or intimidating, Williams called it motivating. Additionally, Zoom has allowed them to connect with clients and enabled them to do their work.

Backbone may have started as a public relations firm, but they have extended the breadth of their services so much that they don’t consider themselves just a PR firm anymore. Their 130 employees do everything from digital media, media planning, social media, marketing strategy and search engine optimization in addition to public relations.

“It was just me buying advertising for a long time. Now there’s 50 people on the team that are just buying advertising all day, optimizing campaigns, and reporting on campaigns,” said Williams.

The employees aren’t thrown into working with a brand they don’t like or know anything about. The brands each employee works with are catered to the things they care about.

“I have a little niche going. I’ve created my portfolio with sustainability-oriented brands,” said Keile Kropf, media director at Backbone, who works on accounts such as Patagonia and Smart Wool.

“I knew that I wanted to work in marketing, but not in just any industry. I wanted it to be an industry I was passionate about and connected to what I like to do,” she said.

Backbone doesn’t do an annual retreat because to retreat is to move backwards, Williams said. Instead, they do an annual company “charge,” in which they get together and talk about what’s next. Last year’s charge was in Moab.
Backbone Media/Courtesy photo

The team at Backbone is filled with motivated, career-oriented individuals who embody the saying “work hard, play hard,” Williams said.

“They want to grow and they care about the type of work they do. We like to hire intellectually curious, entrepreneurially-minded individuals that can work within an organization that has structure, but also has a lot of freedom,” he said.

Sometimes, a work day at Backbone looks like taking a magazine editor out on the slopes with new gear Backbone is trying to promote.

“It’s definitely a lot of fun work, but hard work, too,” said Charles Lozner, vice president of digital media at Backbone. “There’s a lot of a lot of accountability and a lot of reporting. In some ways we’re like a portfolio manager for these brands. They give us millions and millions of dollars, and we’ve got to put it to work and make it perform in a very short amount of time.”

Marketing agencies are notorious for being cutthroat, but not Backbone, according to Williams. He said they take pride in being a low drama agency where everyone cares about each other and celebrates each other’s successes.

“When somebody gets promotion, when somebody runs a great campaign, when somebody has success, we want to celebrate that,” he said.

The care Williams and the leadership show toward employees has earned them a spot on Outside Magazine’s “Best Places to Work” list for five years running. They want to see each employee succeed, and will continue to provide opportunities for business to team members so they can grow their careers, Williams said.

With the new year comes a rebrand for Backbone Media, which will now officially be known as just “Backbone.”

“What we say our promise is, is we connect brands to the here and the next, not the here and the now, the here and the next,” Williams said. “The here is we’re engaged, we’re present, we’re writing for the brand. But we’re also looking into what’s next.”

Going forward, Backbone will continue to be an agency for people who want to be outside and move. Their team, made up of “specialists of stoke,” as Williams called them, always looking to what’s next for the brands they work with, he said.

“We want to show up with energy. We want to show up with smiles on our face. We want to show up with enthusiasm,” he said. “And that’s important.”

To reach Audrey Ryan, email her at aryan@aspentimes.com.

CMC Board of Trustees selected for national John W. Nason leadership award

The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges has selected the Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees as one of five boards — one public college, two private universities and two public college or university foundations — nationally to receive its John W. Nason Award for Board Leadership

According to a news release, the AGB and presenting sponsor TIAA partner to present the Nason Award, established in 1992, to higher education governing boards across the country that demonstrate exceptional leadership and initiative.

“The nation is home to some 4,000 colleges and universities and nearly as many governing boards, and yet, there are few boards that deserve special recognition more for their courage, wisdom and foresight,” CMC president and CEO Carrie Besnette Hauser said in the release. “CMC is more relevant to and celebrated by its communities than ever before, in large part because the courageous and thoughtful individuals that comprise its elected governing board.”

Each recipient was recognized for its justice, diversity, equity and inclusion-related programs and initiatives as well as its efforts to enhance student success, the release states.

According to its nomination materials, the publicly elected CMC Board of Trustees received the award because of its significant commitment to actively address the needs of students and the region the college serves through multiple institutional initiatives. These include investing $45 million for affordable housing and leveraging this funding to expand four critical projects in high-cost mountain towns; expanding academic programming and technology for high-demand fields like nursing; and growing concurrent enrollment opportunities for high school students throughout CMC’s region.

The CMC board in recent years has also advocated for public policy changes, including modifications to the state’s constitution to strengthen CMC’s financial health and its support for underserved students.

The CMC Board of Trustees is one of five boards receiving this year’s Nason Award. Other recipients include the Holyoke Community College Foundation Board of Directors, the Texas Christian University Board of Trustees, the Utah State University Foundation Board of Directors and the Xavier University of Louisiana Board of Trustees.

The Nason Award is named for higher education leader John W. Nason, who served as the chair of the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council and helped nearly 4,000 interned students continue their college studies across the nation during World War II.

Post Independent editor named publisher

The Glenwood Springs Post Independent has seen some internal promotions recently.

Peter Baumann, who has served as editor of the Post Independent since late August 2019, was named publisher in December. 

Former Post Independent Publisher Darcy Carstens was promoted to director of business operations within Swift Communications. She will continue to be involved with the Post Independent as well as all other papers in the group: The Aspen Times, Vail Daily, Summit Daily, Steamboat Pilot & Today and more.

Taking on the role of interim managing editor is veteran journalist John Stroud. And, western Garfield County Reporter Ray K. Erku was promoted to assistant editor.

“We have an excellent team in Glenwood Springs and I am excited that we are able to provide leaders like Darcy, Peter, John and Ray the opportunity to advance their careers,” said Scott Stanford, the group publisher for Swift Communications Newspapers. “Peter has done an outstanding job as editor of the Post Independent and I know he is ready to take on new challenges. He is committed to supporting his staff, serving the Glenwood community and producing great content for the newspaper.”

Stroud will serve in the role through the spring when he plans to step away from daily journalism to take on new adventures and opportunities. Erku plans to apply for the editor position this spring after Stroud transitions out of his full-time role. Erku has worked for news organizations in Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Colorado.

“John has over 35 years of journalism experience within the Roaring Fork Valley and has been a steadfast resource and voice for our newsroom,” Baumann said. “John will lead the day-to-day of the newsroom through the spring. After that, he hopes to have more time to devote to additional writing projects, his involvement with Rotary Youth Exchange and have a bit more to enjoy why so many of us live here: excellent trails, winding single-track and pristine powder and groomers.”

“I first connected with Ray when he was hired for a different newspaper company in Wyoming,” Baumann said. “Since then, Ray has grown as both a writer and a reporter who, most importantly, seeks to establish strong relationships throughout the communities he covers. I’m confident Ray will continue to excel in journalism as he takes on new responsibilities and challenges in the role of assistant editor.”

Swift Communications includes the Post Independent and 11 other titles in Colorado, Utah and California. Swift is owned by Ogden Newspapers, based out of Wheeling, West Virginia.

Shocked at the price of eggs? Growing your own is more complicated than you may think

You’ve probably seen the price of eggs, and muttered under your breath. If you have had the thought of just raising your own, get out your pencil and think again. Having fresh eggs is more complicated than just putting a few chickens in the backyard.

Colorado State University, the state’s agricultural university, has cooperative extension offices in most counties. In Eagle, three people run that office.

Horticulture and small acreage management specialist Denyse Schrenker said while the price of eggs has risen, she actually hasn’t fielded many calls from would-be poultry producers.

Still, she has some advice for those who might want to put some hens in the backyard.

First, it takes dedication to the project to raise backyard poultry.

Town residents need to check either local zoning or homeowner association rules. While backyard coops are allowed in the older part of Eagle, they’re forbidden in Eagle Ranch. Similarly, the homeowners association in Dotsero’s Two Rivers Village also bans backyard coops.

In Garfield County, the rules vary from town to town. Most municipalities allow backyard chickens in some older parts of town, but typically not the newer subdivisions.

Then there’s the matter of highly pathogenic avian influenza, which has decimated flocks around the state. That virus carries easily and can be brought into a coop by wild birds.

Beyond that, Schrenker noted that backyard birds also need to eat the right diet and receive immunizations. They also need protection from predators.

“Dogs can be big egg-stealers,” Schrenker noted.

Jenny Leonetti has for a number of years run the county’s 4-H and youth development programs.

Leonetti noted that the influenza outbreak forced 4-H kids to move about 60 birds out of a shared barn, and the Eagle County Fair & Rodeo’s youth poultry competition had to be held virtually.

While most 4-H birds are raised for meat, not egg production, Leonetti said the process of bringing a bird to adulthood takes some time. Leonetti said a chick purchased today won’t start laying for six months or so. And hens are less productive in the winter months.

Besides the cost, there’s steady work. If you’re going out of town for a weekend, someone still has to feed the birds. In the winter, someone will likely have to clear ice from water bowls.

Then there’s the fact that chickens sometimes don’t go where you expect them to.

Leonetti noted that one family in Eagle had a backyard coop, but the birds ended up on the home’s back deck, and soon left waste all over it.

If you want to go through all that, there’s also the matter of what to do when a hen no longer lays eggs.

If you want to eat those old birds, “you need to boil those for about three days” before they’re edible, Leonetti said.

By the numbers

$4.59: Least expensive price for a dozen eggs on City Market’s website.
$1,500: Price of a 12-chicken coop at Tractor Supply Co.
$44: Tractor Supply price of a chick brooder/coop heater.
$20: Tractor Supply price for 50 pounds of poultry feed.


Community profile: The man behind many smiles in the Roaring Fork Valley is retiring 

After 38 years of molding smiles in Glenwood Springs and throughout the Roaring Fork Valley, orthodontist Dr. Jack Hilty is retiring. 

Now, instead of teeth, he’ll be sculpting marble as a hobby and reshaping his plans for a relaxing retirement. 

“It felt like the right time, you know?” he said. “I love my work, and everything but there are other things to do and that’s kind of what I’m looking at.”

Hilty is retiring from his orthodontics practice in Glenwood Springs and leaving it in the hands of another regional orthodontist practice out of Eagle County — Dustin Roden-Johnson of Eagle Orthodontics.

“I felt like he really understands the area, coming from Eagle,” Hilty said. “I think you would have to want to live in a small town. I wasn’t anxious to get somebody moving here from a city.”

The sunshiny corner office at Ninth Street and Cooper Avenue that acted as the flagship location for his other locations in Carbondale and Aspen will soon begin a slow transition through March. 

“I’m not going anywhere,” Hilty said. “So, I really want to make sure people are happy with the transition and everything goes well because I’m gonna see them around.”

Dr. Jack Hilty stands next to one of his patients in the Glenwood Springs office
Cassandra Ballard/ Post Independent

Hilty does plan to continue living in the valley, and spend his retirement enjoying all of the outdoor amenities. He said that being outdoors in Colorado is one of the main reasons he moved here, appreciating everything from skiing to golf.

He’s excited for more time to enjoy them. 

“Instead of going to do three days a week, I’ll be doing seven days a week,” he said. “I’m looking forward to that.”

Post Independent reporter Cassandra Ballard can be reached at cballard@postindependent.com or 970-384-9131.

Hydroponic lettuce facility Spring Born closes in western Garfield County

A nearly 4-acre hydroponic agriculture facility near Silt recently visited by Gov. Jared Polis now sits dark, stymied by what the owner said was an inability to distribute in larger regional market chains.

The lights turned off Dec. 27 at the once vibrant facility with the potential of providing economic prosperity and employment to the region, along with a new approach to Colorado agriculture that was heavily supported by politicians both in the region and statewide, including Polis. 

“We saw the future of agriculture today,” Polis said in August while visiting the facility, “the future of food production, and it’s a more sustainable future, which it has to be when we’re having these tough discussions about the Colorado River Compact and the changing nature of water in the west.” 

Over the summer, Polis signed House Bill 22-1301, which utilizes hydroponic indoor farming for controlled environment growing year-round in Colorado and uses less water than traditional agriculture methods. 

“There’s three or four large scale facilities in Colorado; this the largest. and we’re going to be seeing more,” Polis said in August 2022. 

So, what happened?

The facility opened in June 2021 and started supplying lettuce in August that same year. The initial funds to build the property were a $30 million expense financed by the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Colorado Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy.

After doubling sales in December 2022 and getting onboard with Sysco for distribution, Spring Born’s main investor pulled out, forcing the facility to close at the end of the year.

“This facility was designed to feed the state, not just local businesses,” Spring Born CEO Charles Barr said. “So, the size just didn’t match and I can’t get it to the state unless I have distribution partners, or I have retail partners.”

Whole Foods and local grocery markets also carried Spring Born’s products on the shelves, while the other larger scale companies would not seem to budge. 

Yet the Garfield Re-2 School District was just about to try their first shipment of lettuce in an ongoing attempt to buy as much local produce for the school district as they can, said Theresa Hamilton, the district’s director of communications.

Fresh produce grows inside the greenhouse at Spring Born located just outside of Silt.
Chelsea Self/Post Independent

When Barr spoke with many of the retail wholesale buyers, they never complained about the price, he said.

Persistence was also no issue. He made sure to get his product sampled and known throughout the region and inside of all of the local retail companies, including the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue. 

“They were extremely amenable and passionate, and the product was better than other brands,” John Goss, the owner of Glenwood Vaudeville Revue said. 

Goss went on to add that since the lettuce came to him so clean and fresh, it saved him prep time and money. There was also none of the dead leaf specks that are usually found in those plastic box casings. 

Breaking into large chains such as City Market proved difficult, however. Barr said that when he spoke to the buyers they had no interest in picking up the locally grown product.

Corporately-run chain grocery stores have buyers that can purchase for entire regions and/or typically go through a third party distribution company. Those companies decide what products work best for them.

Barr said he was told these companies had enough lettuce suppliers while there were lettuce shortages in Glenwood, Rifle and Aspen. He was told to get signed on with wholesale distribution companies that would in turn refuse to buy from him.

“I know sometimes that’s a matter of distribution, in terms of those retail stores’ policies of purchasing, distributing from Canada, their central distribution points,” Tom Lipetzky, the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s director of marketing programs and strategic initiatives said. “And, that can sometimes be very frustrating for consumers, but, yet, we know there’s all kinds of Colorado produce out there.”

Outside of freshly getting onboard with Sysco, getting added as a supplier for restaurant distribution companies was just as challenging.

“The local community could not have been more welcoming,” Barr said. “It was, we had a list of 400 restaurants that wanted us and we couldn’t get the product to them. We couldn’t get it to them through distribution.”

This article previously reported the wrong title for the distribution company Spring Born worked with. Spring Born signed on with Sysco Wholesale Restaurant Food Distributor.

Post Independent reporter Cassandra Ballard can be reached at cballard@postindependent.com or 970-384-9131. 

South Canyon Landfill rates increasing for 2023 

Some rates at Glenwood Springs’ South Canyon Landfill increased this month to keep up with the cost of inflation and processing of certain materials, city officials said. 

“As of January 2023, the base prices for municipal and construction trash dumped into the landfill at South Canyon will increase 3%,” Matthew Langhorst, the city’s public works director, wrote in an email. 

The 3% increase has been added to specific items at the landfill, like solid waste, construction, demolition and loose trash, car-wash liquid waste, septic-tank liquid and more. The majority of the fees are a minor 3% increase to cover the cost of fuel and labor that has gone up over the last year, according to city-council documents. 

“As an enterprise fund, which does not receive tax dollars, the South Canyon Landfill must set prices correctly to generate enough income to cover the costs of processing Glenwood’s trash, recycling, compost and the costs of the recycling center,” Langhorst wrote.

Many items were not increased, and recycling at the recycling center is still not charged. The city added composting free of charge within the last year. 

​Landfill Manager Elizabeth Mauro said the best ways to keep trash prices low are to produce less waste overall by reducing consumption and to compost all food and yard waste.

“We recently added a food-waste collection area at the recycle center for the community to dispose of food scraps for free,” she said.

She added that the landfill wants to encourage composting, and that they are committed to keeping food and yard waste tipping fees much lower than trash fees to incentivize composting. 

There are no price changes for brush, food waste, concrete, leaves, grass, metal, tires, or electronics for recycling or composting, Langhorst wrote. 

Here is the list of landfill rate changes:

Municipal solids waste — 3% Increase from $51.45 to $53 per ton

Out-of-county municipal solid — 3% increase from $103 to $106 per ton

Construction/demolition/loose trash — 3% increase from $50.40 to $51.91 per ton

Out-of-county construction/demolition/loose trash — 3% increase from $71.40 to $73.54 per ton

Unsorted construction and demolition — 10% increase from $80 to 88 per ton

Out-of-county unsorted construction and demolition — 10% increase, $115 to $126.50 per ton

Refrigerator/Freezer/AC Unit — 33% increase from $30 to $40 each

Mattress and box springs — 78% increase from $8.40 to $15 each

Large animal carcass (over 300 lbs) — 59% increase from $12.60 to $20 each

Medium animal carcass (up to 300 lbs) — 59% increase from $10.50 to $16.70

Non-friable asbestos — 3% increase from 23 cents to 24 cents per ton

Septic tank liquid — 3% increase from 23 to 24 cents per gallon

Out-of-county septic tank liquid — 3% increase from 35 to 36 cents per

Car wash liquid waste — 3% increase from 29 to 30 cents per gallon

Out-of-county car wash liquid waste — 3% increase from 35 to 36 cents per gallon

Grease liquid waste — 3% increase from 23 to 24 cents per gallon

Out-of-county grease liquid waste — 3% increase from 35 to 36 cents per gallon

Minimum charge — 5% increase from $9 to $9.50 each

Clean up fee/contamination fee — 33% increase from $75 to $100

Cardboard — 100% increase from $10 to $20

Source: City of Glenwood Springs

“The main costs of processing this waste are labor, fuel, heavy equipment, transporting recyclables and engineering services — increases in these costs are the reason for the small increase in landfill prices this year,” Langhorst wrote. 

Solar panel recycling is a new item being taken at the landfill, charging $20 for small panels and $40 for large panels. 

Cardboard fees have gone up due to handling fees, according to the work-session documents presented to council on Dec. 15, 2022. 

In 2020, South Canyon was charging $10/ton for cardboard, but it costs the landfill around $44/ton to control/handle and process the material.

The document added, if the city bumps up the fee to $20/ton, it is still reasonable but only half what it costs to handle it.

Unsorted construction waste did receive a higher increase to help reduce the amount of materials brought to the landfill unsorted. The low rate fee that the landfill originally had was not enough to encourage contractors and residents to sort it, so the higher fee is meant to incentivize sorting it. 

Refrigerators/freezer/AC units, mattress/box springs and large and medium animals are going up a fair percentage for the costs of processing, documents state. The cost for the landfill to properly dispose of these items has gone up, causing the landfill to have to increase prices as well. 

“Some other services, like refrigerator recycling and solar-panel recycling, are priced to exactly cover the cost of the recycling service that we pay to a contractor — so increases in those prices are due to an increase in the contractor’s fee for service,” Langhorst wrote.

Colorado gas prices rise with new year

Average gasoline prices in Colorado have risen 8.0 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $2.86/gal Monday, according to GasBuddy’s survey of 2,158 stations in Colorado.

Prices in Colorado are 22.8 cents per gallon lower than a month ago and stand 39.7 cents per gallon lower than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has fallen 1.4 cents in the last week and stands at $4.67 per gallon.

According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Colorado was priced at $2.09/gal yesterday while the most expensive was $4.39/gal, a difference of $2.30/gal. The lowest price in the state Sunday was $2.09/gal while the highest was $4.39/gal, a difference of $2.30/gal.

The national average price of gasoline has risen 12.3 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.17/gal today. The national average is down 22.5 cents per gallon from a month ago and stands 9.5 cents per gallon lower than a year ago, according to GasBuddy data compiled from more than 11 million weekly price reports covering over 150,000 gas stations across the country.

Historical gasoline prices in Colorado and the national average going back 10 years:

  • Jan. 2, 2022: $3.26/gal (U.S. Average: $3.26/gal)
  • Jan. 2, 2021: $2.30/gal (U.S. Average: $2.25/gal)
  • Jan. 2, 2020: $2.73/gal (U.S. Average: $2.59/gal)
  • Jan. 2, 2019: $2.36/gal (U.S. Average: $2.25/gal)
  • Jan. 2, 2018: $2.48/gal (U.S. Average: $2.49/gal)
  • Jan. 2, 2017: $2.22/gal (U.S. Average: $2.34/gal)
  • Jan. 2, 2016: $1.84/gal (U.S. Average: $1.99/gal)
  • Jan. 2, 2015: $2.10/gal (U.S. Average: $2.21/gal)
  • Jan. 2, 2014: $3.15/gal (U.S. Average: $3.32/gal)
  • Jan. 2, 2013: $2.96/gal (U.S. Average: $3.28/gal)

“For the first time in two months, the nation’s average price of gasoline rose sharply last week, as extremely cold weather led to many refinery issues, shutting down over a million barrels of refining capacity, pushing wholesale prices up,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

“In addition, China’s reopening plans gave markets inspiration that global oil demand will start to recover, as China’s nearly three year Covid-zero policies appear to be coming to an end,” he said. “While the jump at the pump will likely be temporary as most refiners get back online after cold-weather related issues, some regions like the Rockies may see more price increases than others as cold-weather shutdowns hit the region fairly hard, with one refinery likely remaining down through the first quarter of 2023. Most areas have seen the bulk of the rise already hit, but should oil continue to rally, more increases could be on the way.”

GasBuddy’s survey updates 288 times every day from nearly 150,000 stations nationwide. See http://prices.GasBuddy.com