August 21, 2003



Extending garbage contract to lead to increase in rates
Local residents should expect their garbage bills to increase 2 percent if Village Council follows through on a proposal to extend the Village’s contract with its solid waste hauler, which would give a special committee time to study the Village solid waste fund and go out to bid for a new garbage contract.

The Village’s current contract with the hauler, Rumpke, expires at the end of September, and the Village has asked for a six-month extension. Rumpke has agreed, but only if the Village would accept a 2 percent increase in solid waste rates to cover increased operational expenses, Kyle Aughe, Rumpke’s regional sales manager, said in a memo to the Village.

At its meeting Monday, Village Council indicated it was willing to accept Rumpke’s terms, as well as to pass the increase in solid waste rates onto local residents and businesses. Council is expected to take action on the contract and approve the first of two readings necessary to increase garbage rates at its next meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 2.

The new rates are projected to go into effect on Oct. 1. The rate increase would be applied equally on the Village’s three categories, or tiers, of waste collection, which are determined by the volume of garbage collected weekly.

Extending the solid waste contract would give the ad hoc Solid Waste Task Force more time to study the Village’s contract with Rumpke, the Village’s garbage rate structure, the scope of services provided by the Village and then solicit bids for a new solid waste contract.

The task force, formed last month, distributed a survey to local residents and businesses to gauge the community’s opinion about the annual brush pickup, spring cleanup and the used motor oil station at the Bryan Community Center. Village Manager Rob Hillard encouraged villagers to respond to the survey, whose deadline is Sept. 1.

Earlier this year, Council agreed to form the task force in response to concerns about the health of the Village solid waste fund, which does not generate enough income to support itself. The fund has maintained a fiscal balance over the last three years thanks to subsidies from the Village multi-fund, or general fund. This year, the multi-fund will provide solid waste $17,000.

The solid waste system has struggled because the fund now pays for additional services, such as spring cleanup and the brush pickup, that were once supported by the multi-fund. Concerned about continued shortfalls, Council suspended the brush pickup and spring cleanup this year.

On Monday, Hillard said that the solid waste fund is “at the break-even point.”

* * *

In other Council business:

• Council agreed to start advertising for a new Village treasurer. Currently, Deborah Benning, the clerk of Council, is serving as interim treasurer. She took the place of local resident Larry Kimbro, who resigned as treasurer at the end of May.

The treasurer’s position is not a full-time job. The treasurer’s primary responsibilities are to manage the Village investments, co-sign Village checks, verify expenditures and reconcile the Village books.

To apply for the position, send a resume and letter of interest to the clerk of Council, 100 Dayton Street. The application deadline is Sept. 30.

• Hillard reported that during a hearing on the Village’s 2004 tax budget, the Greene County Tax Commission expressed concern for the Village’s projected reserves, or year-end balance in the multi-fund. The fund, for instance, is expected to have a year-end balance in 2004 that equals 25 percent of its operational costs, Hillard said in his “Manager’s Report.” The Tax Commission and county auditor’s office has insisted that the Village commit to spending its reserves.

Hillard said that he tried to assure the auditor’s office that the Village had plenty of needs or projects, and that the Village was working on a 10-year capital improvement plan that contains more than $13 million in projects. He also told the auditor’s office that the Village was being cautious since Vernay Laboratories has been eliminating jobs at its local manufacturing plants over the last year. Hillard reported that the Village plans to spend $857,000 in capital projects in 2004.

• Council unanimously approved the second reading of an ordinance reducing to two years the terms of members of the Village Human Relations Commission. Commission members had served four-year terms. The commission asked Council to make the change, saying that shortening the term would help recruit new members.

• Council unanimously approved a resolution allowing Euphorbia Landscape to sell a 1979 Jeep. The company will give the proceeds of the sale, $500, to the Village as payment on Euphorbia’s business loan. Selling the Jeep, which Euphorbia had used as collateral to secure the loan, will help the company keep ahead of its repayment schedule.

• Council agreed to renew its contract with the Village solicitor, John Chambers, who was appointed to the position last year. Council president Tony Arnett said that he was satisfied with the service Chambers provided. Council will take formal action on Sept. 2.

—Robert Mihalek