The North Central Solid Waste Authority is in the process of adding to its fleet. During the Authority’s monthly board meeting, Authority General Manager Peter Fuller said the Authority had purchased two used polycart side loader trucks from Los Alamos County and a third refurbished side loader.
An additional new rear loader truck was also purchased. The rear loaders are used on the small rural roads throughout Rio Arriba County. Fuller said that recently one of their rear loader’s wheels came off due to roadway damage caused by recent summer storms.
The new trucks arrive after weeks of delayed and missing service at the Authority due to lack of vehicles. Two of the Authority’s trucks are still down for repairs.
Board Chair Ben Lujan said he understood why the Authority needed to purchase used vehicles but expressed some concern about potential costs down the line.
“It’s never new. We’re buying a lot used. Fleet maintenance is going to be an issue. If we can’t invest in a new fleet then we need to invest in mechanics,” Lujan said.
At a previous meeting, Fuller pointed out that other mechanics in the area are not able to work on the large hydraulic vehicles that the Authority uses; even diesel certified mechanics don’t have experience with vehicles that large, or they don’t want the liability of working on something that old.
Fuller also pointed to the route demands the trucks are put under as one of the causes of their state of disrepair.
“We can not keep driving our trucks hundreds of miles a day just to pick up a few cans,” Fuller said.
The Authority’s Air Curtain Burner is under construction and should be operational with all components delivered in early October.
Ernie Byers with New Mexico Disposal presented a cost-saving solution to the Board. Right now, Byers works as a broker between the Authority and Salazar Trucking, Fuller said.
Byers said landfill hours had shortened due to labor shortages and COVID precautions.
“We think we have a universal solution. With landfill hours shortened, it’s hard to do more than two hauls a day,” he said.
Byers has an arrangement with the Sandoval County landfill that he said could save $100,000 a year for the Authority by taking over all of its waste shipping.
The Board requested a full proposal in writing after his presentation.
The Board also evaluated the 2002 Joint Powers Agreement that created the Authority. There was an attempt to revamp the joint powers agreement in 2016 that failed to get approval from the Department of Finance and Administration due to some of the wording of the 2002 agreement. A new Joint Powers Agreement is in the process of being written similar to that of the 2016 agreement, with the language that caused the issue with the Administration removed.
The Authority also reached an agreement with the Truchas Land Grant for the property upon which it runs a convenience station.
The Authority agreed to pay the five years of missing back rent, totaling $2,500, as well as $3,000 a year going forward.
The Authority also requested pushing back its re-signing of its lease for its office with Ohkay Owingeh, which expires at the end of the month.
Fuller said they had some issues with the building before they renewed the lease and the Authority and needed to address the question of whether or not the Authority needed to expand into the third building on the premises.
Lujan said that he did not think it was a concern. The pueblo provides the Authority with the Riverside Drive office space it uses as an in-kind contribution of $60,000 a year.
Fuller said they might need the extra space from the third building to properly store their physical archives.
Rio Arriba County Manager Lucia Sanchez said the County was in the process of digitizing all of its records and would have their department, which was upgrading to LASERFISK, reach out and coordinate with the Authority to see if the software would also work for the Authority.