BISBEE — The mystery of how Cochise County roll-off trash containers ended up down at the San Pedro River Monday has been solved.
A county driver was redirected from the National Park Service visitor parking lot to the new site by the contractor clearing land along the river, according to Amanda Baillie, Cochise County public information officer.
“The driver, who is new to his position, should not have driven to the redirected location and did not communicate to his supervisors that he had done so. The county will be providing additional training to ensure this does not happen again,” Baillie said in response to questions from the Herald/Review.
She emphasized the contract for the roll offs was with Ultimate Dumpsters, not the NPS as was previously reported. ”The National Park Service made no agreement with the county and has not broken any contractual agreements with the county. It is not unusual for third party contractors like Ultimate Dumpsters to rent dumpsters on behalf of other organizations.”
NPS interpreptor Matthew Cahill conformed the agency had no part in the roll off redirection.
The two county roll offs filled with debris from felled trees were discovered Monday by resident Jeff Sturges, who walked down to see if there was any more work being done at the location where a barrier to stop illegal immigration and drug smuggling is planned.
As reported recently in the Herald/Review, trees along the river had been flagged and staked for removal even though plans for the barrier had not been finalized at the time.
Sturges, who helped organize the protest of the wall along the border at the San Pedro River on Jan. 26, decided to walk down and was surprised to see the clearing done and trees felled.
When the matter was brought to the county’s attention, the roll-off containers were removed due a change in the location from what was agreed in the contract.
The lease contract with Ultimate Dumpsters stated they would be located at the National Park Service (FWS) office at 4101 W. Montezuma Canyon Rd. Moving them to a different location was a breach of the contract.
“The charge for dumpsters depends on the location where they will be dropped off and picked up,” Baillie said. “Rental rates do not include the tipping fee. Rental agreements state the renter must pay a $64 per ton tipping fee for disposal of the materials within each dumpster, which must be paid within a week of the renter receiving their disposal charge weigh ticket.”
The Board of Supervisors has not been consulted on the project and has no jurisdictional authority over federal projects on federally–owned land, she said.
Herald/Review has requested information on the plans for the construction of the border barrier at the San Pedro River from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
As of Wednesday, there has been no response.