September 11, 2003
Village Council took action last week to increase residential garbage rates by 2 percent, as part of a plan to extend the Village’s contract with its solid waste hauler, Rumpke, for another six months.
Though Rumpke is willing to extend the contract, which expires at the end of the month, Kyle Aughe, a regional sales manager for Rumpke, told the Village that the company would increase each of the three garbage categories, or tiers, by 2 percent to cover increased operational expenses.
At its meeting Sept. 2, Council essentially accepted Rumpke’s terms, and passed the increase on to local residents, when it unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance amending the solid waste rates.
A second reading and public hearing on the proposal will take place at Council’s next meeting, Sept. 15.
Council will also officially agree to extend its contract with Rumpke at its next meeting.
The Village wants to extend the contract to give it more time to review the solid waste program and then go out to bid on a new garbage contract.
Council president Tony Arnett said that the extra six months will provide the Village with “enough time to be sufficiently prepared” to solicit new bids.
The move also allows the Village to gauge the scope of solid waste services provided to local residents, including the popular spring cleanup and brush pickup, as well as the used motor oil “igloo” at the Bryan Community Center.
Council has charged an ad hoc group, the Solid Waste Task Force, to oversee these reviews.
The solid waste fund has not made enough money in revenue from garbage rates to support itself, and has been subsidized by the Village’s general fund.
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In other Council business:
• Council unanimously agreed to hire the engineering firm Jones & Henry Engineers to conduct a study of the stormwater drainage on the north end of town. The study is expected to cost $4,160. Residents on the north end of town have complained of flooding that often occurs in their neighborhoods.
Using existing data and maps and previous drainage studies, Jones & Henry will analyze the flow of stormwater, the efficiency of locating a detention basin on the Village-owned Glass Farm and other options the Village might have to reroute stormwater. Village Manager Rob Hillard said that the engineering firm will evaluate drainage problems, analyze possible solutions and costs and make a recommendation on whether a detention basin on the Glass Farm is needed.
Hillard called the cost of the study reasonable, given the scope of Jones & Henry’s proposal.
Arnett also suggested that the company analyze the effectiveness of existing structures that are supposed to mitigate stormwater when it rains heavily. Some residents have reported that some private detention basins are not effective.
• Council unanimously approved a resolution giving Hillard the authority to sign an agreement with a natural gas supplier under the Village’s natural gas aggregation program. An agreement seems likely within a week or two.
The Village, with the help of AMPO, Inc., an affiliate of American Municipal Power of Ohio, the Village’s wholesale electricity supplier, is trying to secure a two-year natural gas contract from a natural gas supplier. Yellow Springs residents and small businesses are eligible to receive natural gas from the supplier, based on an issue voters approved in an election in May. Local residents and businesses may also opt out of the contract and choose their own natural gas supplier.
The Village hopes to secure a deal that allows it to set a fixed rate for the first year of the contract and negotiate a new rate for the second year.
• The Yellow Springs Tree Committee gave a presentation during Tuesday’s meeting. Members of the committee and Council discussed ways to improve communication between the two organizations.
Ted Campbell, president of the committee, said that the Tree Committee is willing to provide suggestions and advice about trees to the Village as well as to the Yellow Springs school district and local residents. He also said that the committee recommends the Village “establish a relationship” with a certified arborist who can provide the Village with advice, when needed.
Arnett noted that there is a U.S. Forest Service employee in Greene County who can provide advice to the Village about trees. He also suggested that the Village distribute the Tree Committee’s newsletter to local residents as a way to educate the community about trees.
More information about the Tree Committee is available at www.45387.org/orgs/ystc.
• Council said that at its meeting Oct. 6 it would hear an appeal submitted by Jonathan Brown of a recent Village Planning Commission denying Brown’s request to move the parking lot at the Union School House to the Dayton Street side of the building. Last month, Planning Commission turned down the request from Brown, who owns the Union School building, saying restrictions on the property prohibit the construction of a parking lot at the front of the building.
The Village Zoning Code allows Brown to appeal the decision before Council.
• Council unanimously approved a resolution allowing Village employees to put additional money from the employees’ salaries into the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System. The benefit does not cost the Village additional funds, Hillard said.
• Council unanimously agreed to appoint Sherry Walker to the Village Human Relations Commission.