The Saratoga Sun -

Cleaning up downtown

Saratoga Town Council hears complaint about cardboard, trash at Family Dollar location


During their May 19 meeting, the Saratoga Town Council was faced with the issue of how to gain the attention of Family Dollar corporate headquarters in regards to violation of town ordinance in Saratoga.

In a letter from resident Kristen Teubner, concern was raised about the accumulation of trash and cardboard around the Family Dollar store in Saratoga. In her letter, Teubner informed the governing body that she had spent an hour and a half cleaning up trash behind the store building and another hour and a half picking up trash along the west river bank from Bridge Avenue to the Riviera Lodge.

“The river that flows through this town is precious from an environmental standpoint as well as an economic one,” wrote Teubner. “The homes and other businesses that surround this building should not have to be continually subjected to people and a corporation who just doesn’t care. I have tried to be a good neighbor, helped clean this up and protect the river from them with no neighborly return. So, I am once again coming to the Town for assistance.”

The issue of Family Dollar and it’s cardboard and trash is not a new concern. The issue was heavily discussed last year by the Upper Platte River Solid Waste Disposal District (UPRSWDD) (see “Buried in budget” on page 1 of the April 17, 2019 Saratoga Sun). Ron Munson, owner of Evergreen Disposal, had informed the board at that time that discussions with corporate had yielded little results. Munson’s removal of cardboard for Family Dollar was done more as a courtesy than as part of the contract with the company.

Saratoga Police Chief Ken Lehr informed the council that Officer Rob Bifano had sent a letter to the corporate office and, since then, the only change had been the addition of a small cage for the cardboard. Lehr stated he had served additional papers on May 18 and was awaiting a response from the company.

“One of the responses from corporate is that if it’s going to cost them a bunch of money, they’re going to shut the store down,” said Lehr.

“Are we concerned at all about the corporate threat to close the store? I think a lot of the citizens would be very upset if that store went away. I just don’t know if there’s some way we can work with the corporation to solve the problem and keep the store,” said Councilmember Judy Welton. “I don’t know how valid that threat is.”

According to Saratoga Municipal Code 8.12.020, “It shall be the duty of any owner, agent, tenant, purchaser, contractor or lessee of any premises within the municipality including places of business, dwelling houses, apartments, tenements, construction sites or other establishments, at all times to maintain the premises in a clean and orderly condition, permitting no deposits or accumulation of materials, garbage and refuse other than those necessary or ordinarily attendant upon construction or upon the use for which such premises are legally intended. Any such accumulation is declared to constitute a nuisance and a nonconforming use of the premises and is prohibited under this chapter.”

Additionally, under Saratoga Municipal Code 8.12.110, it is stated that any person, firm or corporation who fails to comply with the ordinance is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, may be fined up to $750 for each violation along with court costs. It also states that each day shall count as a separate violation.

Lehr informed the council that, aside from the threat to close the store, the police department had received little response from Family Dollar’s corporate headquarters. According to Lehr, phone calls had gone unreturned and certified letters had been returned to the Town of Saratoga. Welton reiterated her concern about the store closing.

“I think that’s their business decision and we have a decision to make as a governing body about enforcing our ordinances and keeping our town clean. I wouldn’t let that threat deter us from enforcing our ordinances and assessing a citation,” said Councilmember Jon Nelson.

Randy Raymer, UPRSWDD chairman, informed the council of the landfill district’s struggle with Family Dollar. He added that it appeared that the Family Dollar in Rawlins seemed to have more sway with their corporate headquarters as they had more trash receptacles and the alley behind the store was neat and organized.

Raymer added that the governing body should consider the implications of yielding to a threat from the corporate headquarters to close the store.

“If our council’s going to yield to that then what other threats are you going to yield to or potentially be obligated to yield to from other corporate businesses within our town?” asked Raymer.

While no further action was taken, the council stated they would wait for a response. If one is not received within 30 days of the issuance of the letter, Family Dollar would need to appear in municipal court and a fine assessed by the municipal judge.

The next meeting of the Saratoga Town Council will be at 6 p.m. on June 2 at Saratoga Town Hall.


Reader Comments


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2020

Rendered 10/07/2020 13:18