AZTEC — San Juan County likely will not impose landfill fees this year, officials said.
The county is in the final stages of crafting its budget proposal for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.
At a meeting May 6, county officials told commissioners the county was facing a $410,000 budget deficit.
Landfill fees were identified as one possible solution to the deficit.
San Juan County CEO Kim Carpenter said the county will likely use cash reserves to cover a portion of that deficit, and landfill fees won't be created to bring in additional revenue during the upcoming fiscal year.
"They are not happening," he said.
Solid-waste disposal is the county's most expensive subsidy.
The county spends nearly $3.5 million operating 13 transfer stations throughout the county and the county cleanup program.
The county collects about $2.4 million in user fees and gross receipts taxes dedicated to the program, according to county documents.
The county started charging fees at convenience stations in 2012.
Those user fees are expected to generate about $450,000 next year.
Transfer stations are places where people can throw away trash for minimal fees.
The county takes the trash to the landfill.
It is still free to throw trash away at the landfill in Crouch Mesa, but county officials have said they may someday consider charging fees to people who take their trash there.
"They are not going to happen this budget cycle, but that doesn't mean they won't ever happen," said county commissioner Jack Fortner.
Fortner said the county has two accounts of reserve funds that are not earmarked for any specific purpose, and he thinks those accounts could be used to cover this year's budget deficit.
"Why is the money sitting over there when we have access to it?" he said.
Ryan Boetel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4644. Follow him on Twitter @rboetel.