The popular Alley Rally garbage drop-off program in Butte is slated to return May 21 at a new location off of Shields Avenue, and it will be open six days a week through mid-August.
But if commissioners agree to a plan Wednesday night, the county would pay Community, Counseling and Correctional Services Inc. $24,900 to staff and run it instead of the county hiring its own summer help to do it.
CCCS runs the Butte Pre-Release Center and operates some other prison programs in Montana, but CCCS would not use pre-release residents or anyone else under the jurisdiction of the Montana Department of Corrections to staff the alley rally site, a county official said Tuesday.
Ed Randall, director of Butte-Silver Bow’s Community Enrichment Department, said CCCS hires its own summer help for maintenance and other work and will use them at the alley rally site.
“It (alley rally) is just an incredible success, but in the last few years we were having a hard time staffing it for the whole summer,” Randall said. “Our (full-time) staff was having to spend a lot of time down there, and it was getting too expensive for us to do that.”
Randall said his department will still hire several people for summer work but won’t hire anyone to staff alley rally. Most of the $24,900 would go to CCCS to pay its own alley rally workers, Randall said, and the change would not cost taxpayers any additional money.
The Montana Standard left a voice message Tuesday with Perry Hawbaker, chief financial officer at CCCS, seeking comment.
For several years now, the county has placed large garbage containers at a certain location in Butte during late spring and summer so people can dispose of garbage, debris and yard waste without going to the county landfill north of Rocker.
Last year, the containers were moved to different sites around town that were only open on Fridays and Saturdays. But instead of being more convenient for people, many had a hard time finding it from week to week.
“It just didn’t work,” Randall said.
Two years ago, alley rally was located along George Street, just east of Kaw Avenue, but Randall said Superfund work was being done there now so it was unavailable.
“We really ran out of locations,” Randall said.
They wanted to keep it somewhere accessible to Uptown and the Flat, he said, and knew that CCCS owned a site next to an old red warehouse off of East Iron Street just below the Belmont Senior Center that was already fenced. East Iron Street connects with Shields Avenue just south of the Berkeley Pit viewing stand.
If commissioners OK the plan, CCCS would staff the site May 21 through Aug. 15 and a sign off of Shields Avenue would point to it. It would be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
CCCS would schedule three workers for the site each day, and they would admit vehicles and assist anyone needing help unloading garbage or yard waste, Randall said. They would also pick up the perimeter before leaving each night.
County staff would meet with a CCCS coordinator each week to ensure that procedures were being followed and things were running smoothly.
Most importantly, Randall said, a popular program will continue.
“It is one of the most successful things we do, and it really cleans up Butte,” he said.