PIQUA — Updates to the city’s garbage collection ordinance were tabled Tuesday evening at the Piqua City Commission meeting after a discussion over how much trash would be allowed to be collected.
The commission heard the first reading of an ordinance updating the city’s garbage collection rules, language, and rates within the city during their last meeting, where Director Amy Welker of the city’s Health and Sanitation Department said that the city is looking to providing trash carts similar to those used in the city’s recycling program.
The suggested carts would have a 96-gallon capacity, and there was a disagreement as to whether or not those 96 gallons would be an increase or a decrease from what the city currently allows.
The current ordinance charges $15.30 per month for cans or bags not to exceed 32 gallons with no more than six bags or cans of refuse, not including the additional fee of $3.13 for recycling.
Welker said that the bags were based on the average size of kitchen trash bags being approximately 13 gallons, making 78 gallons the total refuse allowed to be collected using six bags.
Commissioner John Martin went by the statement in the ordinance saying that the bags cannot exceed 32 gallons, bringing the maximum allowed to 192 gallons and double the size of the carts that the city is looking to provide residents.
The city’s proposed ordinance would also charge residents an additional $5 for use of a second cart from the city.
“An extra can is a 26 percent up charge to put out what you put out now,” Martin said.
Welker said that, in researching what carts to provide, other communities have said that the 96-gallon cart has been sufficient for their residents.
Later in the discussion, Huff said that the city could work with residents if they needed an additional cart.
“If we find that they need more than one can, we should give them one more can,” Commissioner Bill Vogt said.
Welker said that they came up with the costs to charge people for the amount of trash that residents are generating themselves, not so that they are subsidizing other residents’ trash collection amounts. Welker said that is why they decided on an additional charge of $5 if a resident requests another trash cart through this proposed program.
This is also meant to encourage residents to recycle, as residents do not get charged for requesting additional recycling carts.
“Eighty percent of what people throw away is recyclable,” Welker said.
The commission then unanimously voted to table the ordinance. The ordinance was previously presented to the commission as an emergency in order to get the changes in place before the new year began.
Commissioners say goodbye
The city of Piqua held a special reception before the Piqua City Commission meeting to say goodbye to retiring commissioners Judy Terry and Joe Wilson. Both Wilson and Terry have been on the commission for a total of 12 years each.
“It’s fun to see everybody,” Terry said. “It’s a happy time for me … I’m ready to go.”
When asked what her favorite part of being on the commission has been, Terry said, “I think when we were able to complete the change with the hotel – the Fort Piqua Plaza.” She added, “It was a work of love for so many people … The whole time was kind of a miracle.”
Terry also noted other projects that the city and the city’s partners have completed, from the new Water Treatment Plant to the new school buildings.
“I think we’re going in the right way,” Terry said.
“It’s bittersweet,” Wilson said. “It’s a good time to go.”
Wilson’s favorite part of the job has been working with residents and helping them get problems solved or helping to understand certain situations.
“All the people you get to meet is pretty nice,” Wilson said.
Wilson recalled one time an older resident called him because she was alarmed after a city’s transformer was in her back yard while her back yard had a large puddle in it. Wilson asked the resident what her address was, and she didn’t know.
After he was able to figure out her address, “We were able to take care of her problem,” Wilson said.
Terry and Wilson were sitting commissioners when City Manager Gary Huff came to work for the city.
“I am certainly very appreciative of them giving me the opportunity to work in Piqua, and they will be missed,” Huff said, adding that the city staff also will miss Terry and Wilson as well. “We are saddened to see them go.”
They each spoke positively about incoming commissioners Kris Lee and Dave Short, saying that they will be a good fit for the commission.
Mayor Kazy Hinds presented Terry and Wilson with framed letters during the official meeting, honoring both for their accomplishments during their time on the commission.
Also during their meeting, Hinds read a proclamation declaring Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, as James Brown II Day, honoring the late owner and former CEO of Hartzell Propeller, who recently passed away. The proclamation was presented to Brown’s son, Jim Brown, III.
Additional items on the commission agenda were voted on after press time.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336