By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
As of July 1, if your trash toter doesn’t have a sticker on it, the trash won’t be picked up by the city sanitation crew.
City council members voted to change the policy on trash pickups at Monday’s meeting due to a growing accounting problem.
City Clerk/Administrator Jo Leyland said city crews are increasingly finding that residents on the city’s trash pickup routes are putting out their trash recepticles without stickers, expecting it to be emptied and billed to their utility accounts.
For the month of April alone, there were 142 such cases, taking over two hours to add the trash pickup charge to residents’ bills.
The city office also gets a number of calls each week from residents who didn’t have their trash out in time when the truck went by, and ask that the sanitation truck return to get it.
“It’s getting out of hand,” Leyland told council members.
In response, the council voted to change the policy requiring stickers on all trash toters or dumpsters for pickup.
If a resident calls and asks that the truck come back after to empty a toter or dumpster that wasn’t out, the fee for that pickup will be doubled.
The city operates its trash pickup on a volume-based system, Leyland reminded residents.
All residents who request city trash pickup are charged $7 per month for that service, whether trash is picked up at their home or business, or not. Businesses are charged a $11 monthly fee.
In addition, as a signal they want their trash emptied that week, residents or business owners are supposed to attach a sticker to the toter or dumpster.
Those stickers cost $6 for toters and $24 for the large business dumpsters.
In effect then, a home or business pays more if they have more trash to be picked up and emptied.
Regular pickup service available
Leyland said the city also offers a regular trash pickup service for homes and businesses that about 50 people/businesses take advantage of.
In those situations, stickers are not necessary and the charge is added to the customer’s bill each month, Leyland said. But it must be requested.
As an example, a business may request weekly pickups, so will be charged for that on their utility bills and will be picked up each week. If the toter/dumpster isn’t out, they will still be charged, Leyland said.
The motion approved Monday will clarify the policy to read that trash will only be picked up if a sticker is attached, and requests for call-backs will be charged double the sticker charge.
The city plans a stuffer in next month’s utility bills furthering explaining the changes.
Other council business
- A request for $7,000 in city sales tax funds (community development half) from the Imperial Lions Club was approved to assist the organization in construction of new restrooms at Campbell Park. Lion Nick Schultz reviewed the project with council members, saying the club is committing at least 60 percent of the $24,000 to $28,000 project cost. With input from the park board, plans are to keep the restrooms open year-round which has added additional heating costs. The park board voted at an earlier meeting to support the project, and encouraged council approval of some use of sales tax funds, as well. The Imperial Community Foundation has committed $4,000 to the project, and the Lions have approached other community organizations to help with the project. Once the restrooms are built, the Lions plan to turn ownership over to the city.
- Specs have been finalized and were approved by the council for construction of the new lift station at Campbell Park and completion of a new water main between 7th and 11th Sts., on Broadway. Engineer Kent Cordes of Miller & Associates expects the combined projects to cost between $355,000 and $475,000. Bids will be opened June 3. Work will be underway during the summer with a Nov. 15 completion date as part of the contract.
- Closing of Wellington Street from the alley north of the post office, north to 9th Street for the fair’s Car Nutz and Harchelroad car shows on Aug. 15 was approved. Harchelroad Motors also requested additional space on 8th Street between the alleys on the east and west side of Wellington St., which was also approved.
- Since it falls on Memorial Day, the second council meeting this month on the fourth Monday was cancelled. If any emergency issues arise, a special meeting will be called.
- The formal ordinance expanding liquor sales to Sunday morning was approved. The old ordinance set Sunday liquor sales to start at 1 p.m. The change now allows liquor sales everyday starting at 6 a.m.
- A resolution was approved for the city’s participation in the 2009 Nebraska Community Improvement Program (NCIP). Last year, the city of Imperial won the Community Notebook first place award in its population division in this competition.