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EARLIER: City, county to hold joint session on trash

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Fiscal court, city council members set workshop

By Lisa King

Shelby County and Shelbyville will meet tonight to discuss a collaborative approach to creating curbside garbage and recycling pickup for the public.

Shelbyville City Council has held two workshops on the issue, and after a 2-hour meeting Thursday between the 109 Board, the entity responsible for handling solid waste in the county, and the Shelby County Fiscal Court’s Legislative Committee, Magistrate Tony Carriss, chair of that committee, charged Magistrate Hubie Pollett with the task of arranging a meeting with city officials to discuss the possibility of working together on a bid for service for all residents.

That meeting will be at 6 tonight at Stratton Center, 215 Washington St. in Shelbyville.

“Our goal is to provide a fair solution for the whole county, which includes the city,” Carriss said. “The magistrates feel that an interlocal agreement with the city will benefit both city and county for rates.”

The legislative committee looked at curbside pickup practices in surrounding counties, and how, or if, any of them could be role models for Shelby County.

During Carriss’ well-organized presentation, he offered several on a flip card, ranging from “perfect” to the next best and backwards from that. Franklin County’s curbside pickup program of a basic free service to both city and county residents as the best possible option.

At the same time, members of the Shelbyville City Council were holding their own workshop – their second on the issue – that concluded with Mayor Tom Hardesty’s beginning the first steps of drawing up an ordinance to create curbside garbage – and possibly recycling – pickup for residences in the city.

That action by city officials hastened the county’s desire to set up a joint meeting quickly, because county officials wanted to work together with the city before drafting any ordinances.

“The magistrates also made it clear that should an ordinance be drafted for universal garbage pickup that it would not be the intent to raise revenue by adding on a franchise fee,” Carriss said.

The hurry-up offensive on the issue emerged because of recent plans announced by the 109 Board, the entity responsible for collection of solid waste and recyclables, to build a new, $2.5 million facility on Windhurst Way in Shelbyville.

The board purchased 25 acres there last year for $655,000 and has spent $130,000 developing plans for the new complex, which would replace the Convenience Center in Waddy and the Recycling Center on 7th Street. Use of the facility may require a 3-to-5-cent usage fee for disposal of household garbage.

Board Chair Rusty Newton and other members have toured the county for a series of public meetings on the proposals, but there has been a growing outcry on why the county would allow this level of spending and not provide garbage and recycling service for the public.

The 109 Board receives about $900,000 a year in property tax receipts.

In addition to Carriss and Pollett, the Legislative Committee also includes magistrates Michael Riggs and Mike Whitehouse. Shelby County Judge Executive Rob Rothenburger didn’t attend, but magistrates Eddie Kingsolver, Bill Hedges and Allen Ruble did.

Members of the 109 Board attended as well, and in fact the county’s meeting was so well-attended, that Carriss expressed surprise and had to find a larger meeting room at Roll Forming Corp.

Simpsonville officials have not participated in these discussions because there already is a mandatory garbage program for city residents, at about $15 per month plus an administration fee. The city does not include recycling for that price.

 

The discussions

The city’s workshop Thursday went pretty much the same as the county’s, with council members spending the majority of their meeting reviewing garbage/recycling plans in surrounding cities and counties. City Attorney Steve Gregory helped them understand nuances in language and approaches, particularly on the contract Simpsonville has with its garbage company.

Carriss and Hardesty both passed out copies of a graphic published by The Sentinel-News displaying information on curbside pickup programs on several surrounding counties. Hardesty also had a spread sheet that included other municipalities. All areas surrounding Shelby County provide service, with most including recycling and most mandatory.

Council members discussed at some length service in Oldham County, where residents participate optionally at $5.12 a month for two pickups, and elsewhere.

During both workshops, topics included how many households would need to be serviced, with 5,200 residences for the city and 12,000 for the county, and the

most-discussed issues – whether to require that all residents participate and whether to include recycling.

The consensus among council members appeared to be that most would favor including recycling – although the group’s newest member, Bob Andriot, said he didn’t think it should be a requirement.

“I would leave it at trash – that would be a great thing – and wouldn’t take recycling,” Andriot said. “A lot of people won’t use it. I think it ought be optional. Some people don’t want to recycle.”

At the county meeting, magistrate Michael Riggs said he thought that if curbside pickup was not made mandatory, he didn’t think some people would opt to pay for it, no matter how inexpensive it was.

“Also, if we don’t provide a way for people to dispose of heavy items, we’ll see illegal dumping out in the county,” he said. “I guarantee it.”

 

Tonight’s meeting

Pollett, who set up the joint meeting tonight, said he invited the city council members to attend, as well as the Legislative Committee and members of the 109 Board.

“The [other] magistrates have been invited, too, but I don’t know how many are coming,” he said. “Tony will just give them [attendees] the information that we discussed the other night, and see what they have, to see if we can join forces on this.”

At Thursday’s meeting, Carriss had charged Newton, who also is deputy judge-executive, to find out whether the 109 Board would be able to work with other entities in a joint solid-waste plan.

Newton said that he is trying to gather information on that topic to bring to tonight’s meeting.

“I had a meeting set up in Frankfort to get some information on the legality of that, but that meeting was cancelled,” he said. “But I  still hope to have some information to give out when we [the 109 board] meet with the city, because we obviously want to try to do what we can to help out within the limits of what we can do legally.”

Hardesty said he was looking forward to attending the meeting.

“They have invited us to talk with them tomorrow night [tonight] and talk about some of the issues and opportunities for trash pickup and recycling, and part of the purpose for the meeting tomorrow night is to see is there is some opportunity for savings for our citizens through a joint effort,” he said. “Naturally, we want to hear what fiscal court has to say. Our intent is two fold, to lower rates to citizens and also to try to get as much recycling done as possible, to get less trash going to landfills. Of course, the 109 board is waiting to see if there will be a garbage franchise involved, and that way, they’ll know how to plan for their new facility at the Martinrea plant.”

Would it be an interlocal agreement?

“That’s a good question,” he said. “What would we call it? I’m not sure. That’s something we can all learn about together.

City-county meeting

WHAT:Workshop among officials from Shelby County Fiscal Court and Shelbyville City Council

WHEN:6 p.m. today

WHERE:Stratton Center, 215 Washington St., Shelbyville

WHY:To discuss curbside pickup garbage/recycling for all residents