Monday, October 20, 2014
   
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Fuel costs drive trash rate increase

Council adds to bill to support Clean City Week.

Residents will have to pay a bit more for trash pickup and support Clean City Week under a proposal before the local city council.

During their April 19 meeting, the council introduced an ordinance that raises trash rates 6.2%.

Trash haulers had requested the increase at an earlier meeting because of rising fuel prices.

Rates would rise from $14.50 to $15.40 with trash haulers getting an additional 50 cents and 40 cents earmarked for the city’s annual cleanup program where residents can take household trash to dumpsters next to the city shop.

Local trash haulers previously received $13.25 while the city collected 75 cents which was used for recycling (40 cents), billing (10 cents) and support of the city tree/grass refuse lot (25 cents).

City administrator Bruce Clymer said that Clean City Week, April 30-May 8, is successful but costly.

Dumpsters are available at the city shop through the week to collect trash that won’t fit in regular receptacles.

When the program started in 2004, Clymer said trips to haul trash to the landfill cost about $3,700. That amount has grown to $8,700.

City services director Shane Gruber said the number of dumpsters has increased from three to nine.

Although people from other towns transport trash to Gothenburg during the week, city officials said it’s difficult to police the drop-off location 24 hours a day.

Mayor Joyce Hudson said she thinks it’s a wonderful service for residents.

Council member Gary Fritch added that charging residents for the service might also help make up the $30,000 the city will lose in state aid this year.

Allowing utility vehicles to be driven on city streets is a step closer to passage.

Council members gave second-round passage to a measure that would let residents drive the vehicles on city streets if they have a flag, headlights and tail lights, and travel no more than 30 mph.

Under state law, three wheelers are still banned from city streets as are golf carts except when used in parades.

In other business, the council:

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