County commissioners nix plan for bear-proof containers
On the advice of their attorney, the Garfield County Commissioners decided Tuesday they will not enact an ordinance requiring bear-proof trash containers.”Garfield County can’t go there,” said assistant county attorney Jan Shute.In July, agents with the Colorado Division of Wildlife appealed to the county commissioners to pass an ordinance in areas where bears have historically been troublesome, such as the parts of West Glenwood Springs that are unincorporated.The city of Glenwood Springs has such an ordinance.DOW suggested the commissioners designate Midland Avenue up to and including Four Mile Road to the Oak Meadows subdivision as an area where bear-proof containers would be required, she said.But Shute explained that the county has no general nuisance ordinance that covers trash, and such an ordinance would be needed to cover a requirement for bear-proof trash containers. She also pointed out that the commissioners considered such an ordinance a few years ago and were opposed to the measure.One of the problems with crafting a nuisance ordinance would be defining what constitutes trash. “Someone’s trash is someone else’s treasure,” said Commissioner Larry McCown.Commissioner Trési Houpt disagreed. “I think it’s a very important issue as we grow as a county,” she said. Commissioner John Martin summed up the issue. “It’s the urbanization of a rural county.”The commissioners did agree to post warnings about handling outdoor trash so as not to attract bears on its Web site, http://www.garfield-county.com.”We need to make it up to people to take their own responsibility,” Martin said.Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. email@example.com
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