Gypsum town council members are mostly receptive to a partnership with Eagle County that would improve the recycle collection site at Columbine Market.
The estimated cost of $220,000 would be split between the two entities.
With Tim McMichael absent, the council members voted, 4-2, to continue the partnership with the county for the recycling site at the proposed location. Council members Beric Christiansen and Gary Lebo voted against the motion. Christiansen said he felt a recycle center in a retail area was not ideal for future business.
"What if someone wants to buy Columbine Market and expand it?" he said.
Eagle County Solid Waste and Recycling Director Ken Whitehead said three other sites have been considered but were too small or out of the way.
"The collection center would also be where it already is," Whitehead said.
Gypsum Town Manager Jeff Shroll attested to the current site's heavy use.
"We don't want to spend the money on a new recycle center and not have it used," Shroll said.
Columbine Market currently owns the property with the collection facilities. Whitehead recommended that the town buy the 6,000 square-foot parcel from Columbine Market, which is estimated to cost $34,000. Columbine Market's owner is said to be receptive to the proposal.
"This is a good deal for the town because it would get the property for half the cost, which would be split with the county, and the town would retain ownership if the partnership is ever dissolved or if the collection site is moved," Whitehead said.
The new recycle center would include a cardboard compactor with a 40-yard container, the two 40-yard gable-top roll-off cans for commingle and paper that are already there, and fencing around the perimeter. Access would be accommodated for drive-through bank customers and the fire department, along with a separate entrance from Oak Ridge Drive.
"This is a good solution to improve recycling," Whitehead said. "The cardboard compactor will reduce transport costs, since the container won't have to be emptied as frequently, and there will be less wind-blown trash."
Whitehead told council members that if they ever want to move the site, it wouldn't be overly complicated but there will be a cost to split with the county.
Four of the council members agreed that improvements are needed at the current facility and that the Columbine Market site is the best place for now.
About half of Gypsum's share of the costs will come from in-kind contributions, such as engineering services.
"I think our cash outlay will be about $75,000 or a little less," Shroll said. "We have $50,000 in the trash fund now that would cover most of it."
The next step is for the town to explore a property purchase agreement with Columbine Market before anything else can move forward.
"The partnership between Gypsum and the county will be similar to the agreement we have with Eagle for its recycle site," Whitehead said. "The Eagle site was a little cheaper because the town already owned the land."