August 23, 2008

Eloy Council Discusses Waste Facility



A developer is hoping to gain the support of the Eloy City Council for a proposed solid- waste and recycling transfer station, even though the facility would not be within city limits.

In exchange, Eloy officials would like to have a say in making sure the transfer station remains in compliance with state and Pinal County regulations.

"If somebody called in to complain, most likely that call would come in to City Hall, not to Pinal County," Eloy Mayor Byron Jackson said during Monday's City Council meeting.

Developer Bart Powell, under the business name Zompow LLC, has applied with Pinal County for an industrial-use permit and a rezoning of 10 acres a quarter-mile east of Arizona 87 on the south side of East Milligan Road.

The land is about a mile southeast of Eloy city limits, and just south of a 4,708-acre parcel the city is annexing.

The property is also just west of Eloy's municipal cemetery, which, combined with the proposed facility's proximity to Arizona 87, prompted some council members to cite concern about increased traffic in the area as a result of garbage trucks going in and out of the facility.

"This is not something that most of us would like to see near our cemetery," Eloy Vice Mayor Frank Acuna said.

Similar transfer stations are operated close to cemeteries and even residential neighborhoods in Phoenix, said Kay Bigelow, a lawyer representing Zompow.

All activities associated with the transfer station would be conducted within an enclosed building, Bigelow said, rather than in an open-air setting.

"This is not a landfill," Bigelow said. "It is not a place where any of the stuff that is brought there is dumped on the ground outside. This is not a final resting place for trash."

Waste haulers drop trash at transfer stations. There, the trash is sorted and then transported to landfills.

The proposed facility - located on land that had been a prime illegal dumping site - would serve private trash-hauling companies in unincorporated areas around Eloy, which has its own municipal garbage service, and would also be open to the public.

The facility could also help alleviate the dearth of dumping options that will remain when Pima County closes its Tangerine Landfill sometime next year, Powell said.

The transfer station's rezoning is scheduled to be voted on by Pinal County's planning and zoning commission Aug. 21, with a vote by the county's Board of Supervisors likely to come in September or October.

The facility could be open by mid-2009, Powell said.

Four-day workweek weighed

Eloy might join the growing list of Arizona municipalities to implement a four-day workweek.

The City Council is likely to vote Aug. 25 on a resolution that would, effective Sept. 1, shift nearly all Eloy offices and services to a Monday-through-Thursday schedule on a 90-day trial basis.

The measure, which Jackson first proposed in July, would have town offices open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., with exceptions made for certain departments that need to remain open on Fridays.

"I think of it as a morale booster," Jackson said, noting the schedule change would amount to a non-monetary job perk. "The last few years we weren't able to give our employees that much of a pay increase, so we've decided to look at some other avenues."

Phoenix-area suburbs Avondale and Queen Creek are already experimenting with four-day workweeks, while Sahuarita is also considering the idea.

* Contact reporter Brian J. Pedersen at 434-4079 or [email protected]


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