Rifle trash rates to increase, liquor violations hearing set
At the Wednesday, Dec. 4, Rifle City Council workshop and meeting, council:
• Approved an ordinance that will raise trash and recycling rates for residents and businesses by five percent at the first of the year. The ordinance also calls for the rates to be adjusted annually at the first of the year, similar to other city utility rates.
Adopted the 2014 budget (see graph), certified the city and Downtown Development Authority mill levies of 5.261 and 3.774 mills, respectively, for the new year and approved a supplemental 2013 budget to cover actual expenses.
Set Friday, Dec. 20, as a hearing date to consider penalties against five liquor establishments – Jon’s Liquors, 401 W. Second St.; Rib City Grill, 707 Wapiti Ave.; Kum & Go, 1248 Railroad Ave.; Choice Liquors, 680 Wapiti Court and Thai Chili Bistro, 115 E. Third St. – who admitted their employees sold alcoholic beverages to minors during compliance checks by the Colorado Liquor Enforcement Division in July.
All five paid fines to the division instead of receiving a suspension of their licenses, City Clerk Lisa Cain wrote in a memo to the council. City penalties can range from license suspension or revocation to a fine.
Directed City Attorney Jim Neu to remove a city code requirement that minors vacate a restaurant that serves alcohol after 10 p.m., if food is no longer served after that time. At least one Rifle restaurant had recently expressed concerns that the requirement was hampering their business. City Council will consider the change at their next meeting.
Agreed to form and appoint members to a public safety citizen advisory board, a request from Police Chief John Dyer, who said it would help him and his officers “be reflective of the community we serve.” Among the nine members to be appointed after the first of the year could be a high school student, business owners and managers and in-city and outside-the city citizens, he said.
Voted to disband an unused municipal court victim assistance law enforcement board that was formed two years ago by former police Chief Daryl Meisner. Dyer said since municipal fines are smaller than county or state penalties, no one had requested funding help. Such boards usually gather revenue from fines against violators to use for those who have trouble paying their fines.
Dyer said if any such requests are made in the future, the money could come from his training fund, which is funded from a similar fine method for municipal offenses.
Listened to a report on what to do about the biosolids, or end product, at the city’s wastewater treatment plant. Last year, it was included with the compost operation adjacent to the West Rifle plant. When the city ceased that operation, the city started hauling the biosolids to a landfill in Delta County, at an annual cost of $160,000, according to Utilities Director Dick Deussen.
The city contracted with Stantec Consulting of Denver to propose other disposal methods and were presented with three alternatives: continuing to haul the waste, treat it for agricultural land application and use it as city and home fertilizer. However, the later two alternatives would require capital construction, which added between $5 million to $6 million to the cost.
“So we recommend you stick with what you do now,” said Greg Woodward of Stantec to regretful moans from some councilmembers.
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A man was charged with suspicion of driving under the influence after his vehicle had to be fished out of the Colorado River in Rifle on Tuesday.