Ross Johnson photo The Ely landfill, in the vicinity of the coming recycling center

Ross Johnson photo
The Ely landfill, in the vicinity of the coming recycling center

Among other business, the Ely City Council voted to buy new landfill scales and to create a city recycling center at its meeting on Feb. 25.

“It’s going to cost $54,000 for a 40-foot scale,” Councilman Bruce Setterstrom said. “We can purchase the scales this fiscal year, install them after July 1 and split the cost down the middle. We’ve been talking about for a year, the old council approved it, so I’m fine with yes or no.”

Fire Chief Ross Rivera voiced his opposition at the public comment lectern.

“I’m seen them in service,” Rivera said. “Do you have a plan? When they go down, they need maintenance and the taxpayers take the hit.”

Setterstrom assured Rivera that he had a plan. The council approved the plan 3-2, with Councilman Kurt Carson and Councilwoman Jolene Gardner dissenting. Carson also voiced his opposition to the current Ely recycling plan proposed by Setterstrom.

“I think we’re going down the wrong path a little bit,” Carson said. “I want to promote recycling, but we could get in too deep and I don’t think we can afford it.”

A resultant discussion ensued about recycling, scrap metal prices and the cost of transportation to Salt Lake City. Setterstrom proposed retaining scrap metal until prices increase, but City Attorney Charles Odgers countered that prices are decreasing and projected to stay steady until the summer.

“It will let the landfill employees know that the council is serious about recycling,” Setterstrom said.

“We’ve worked on this for months and months,” Mayor Melody Van Camp said.

“The landfill employees don’t want it,” Carson said. “I like recycling, but I don’t think it’s worth the money.”

The council acknowledged that a recent expensive West Wendover recycling effort failed due to poor planning, then approved the plan, with Carson voting nay. The council also approved a home occupation business permit to Rennell Barney, with Gardner the only nay vote.

Odgers did not believe the permit was necessary, since Barney is already doing business under a current contractor’s license.

“I didn’t mean to stir up the town,” Barney said during public comment. “I’m trying to be honest about it and maybe put some people to work. I’ll certainly pay for it.”

“It’s not our place to question why he wants to bill out of a house,” Setterstrom said.

The council approved Odgers’ proposed abatement of a property at 646 Stevens Ave. The process includes the demolition and removal of condemned structures, junk vehicles and overgrown vegetation. Odgers also explained he could put the property in receivership. He suggested possible receivers such as the Ely Shoshone Colony, Rural Nevada Development Corporation or Nevada Rural Housing Authority, who would then complete the abatement process. Setterstrom dissented.

Setterstrom reported on his tourism plan to attend the Adventure & Gear Fest April 8-9 in Salt Lake City. There, he will staff a booth representing the city. The event claims more than 10,000 visitors and is marketed directly to outdoor recreation consumers and potential Ely visitors such as cyclists, runners, skiers, snowboarders and climbers.

Carson also reported he has been looking for a new ambulance with Rivera, and hopes to bring a proposal to the council by next month.

The council next holds its regular twice monthly meeting at the Ely Volunteer Fire Hall on Mar. 10 at 5 p.m. At that meeting the council will formally award the winning bid for the Murry Street Sewer Project.