ALAMOSA — Responding to area residents’ request to expand the Rickey Recycling Center’s weekend hours, the Alamosa city council this week authorized the city manager to reclassify the part-time maintenance worker position to full time.
City Manager Heather Brooks told the council the staff would determine what the expanded hours would be after receiving input from the council and the public.
She explained that the reclassification of the worker’s position was necessary in order to expand the hours at the recycling center.
She said the annual cost of expanding the position to provide more hours at the recycling center is estimated to be about $16,000 including salary and benefits. Since 2018 is about half over already, the cost to expand the position this year would be about half that, she added. In accompanying communication to the council, she indicated the 2018 costs could be absorbed in the budget and staff would look at how to assess the costs in 2019.
Brooks said since the city tries to operate the utilities as an enterprise, the additional cost would be assessed to utility customers, but she estimated the additional cost to customers would be less than 50 cents a month per bill, “not something that’s drastic but is something that costs need to cover themselves.”
Councilman David Broyles said, “I think the need has been established. I think the demand is there.”
He said based on the input he had received he was supportive of the expanded hours and staff time.
The council unanimously agreed.
Alamosa business owner Ruthie Brown, who has been collecting petition signatures requesting expanded hours at the recycling center, told the council she appreciated their decision, “but I don’t see why it had to be such a battle.”
She said when she went to the recycling center on Sunday there was a line waiting to get in when it opened at noon. She said the city worker who was there was willing to work on Sundays and “would love to have a full-time job” to support his family.
She said she would like to see the center open at 8 a.m. on Sundays so she and others could unload their materials and get on with the rest of their activities for the day.