by Phil Keren
Silver Lake -- It's not an April Fool's Day joke.
Starting on April 1, the village will only have one licensed trash hauler and residents can choose between curbside pickup and setback pickup of their trash.
On Tuesday, Village Council voted 5-1 to award a three-year exclusive trash hauling contract to J and J Refuse Inc. According to the legislation, J and J will be licensed as the village's exclusive trash hauler through March 31, 2010.
Council President Carol Steiner (District B) cast the dissenting vote on the contract, while Councilwoman Despina Mulrooney (District C) was absent from Tuesday's session.
J and J, Fruth Sanitation and Waste Management will serve as the three licensed trash haulers in the village through March 31 of this year. Starting April 1, J and J will collect trash in the entire village.
Teresa Spohn, the village's clerk-treasurer, said J and J is planning to send a letter to residents "as soon as possible" about the schedule and the rates. J and J will pick up trash on Fridays and the first collection date will be April 6. On holiday weeks, the trash collection will take place on Saturdays.
Spohn said residents must select what service they want by March 1. If residents do not make a selection by that date, Spohn said they would be enrolled in the special collection full service with recycling for curbside pickup. That service costs $14.85 per month.
The village only allows setback pickup of trash. Spohn said Council must revise a portion of its codified ordinances to make it "consistent with the curbside program." She said she expects to bring the proposed amendment to the next Council meeting on Feb. 5.
Councilmembers offer varying views
Steiner said she felt the bidding process yielded lower prices, but added "We have taken away the choice [of haulers] from our community members" and noted many residents liked the services of both J and J and Fruth.
She also said Republic Waste Services offered a lower price than J and J for senior and disabled setback service as well as for bag service. Republic only submitted bids for a non-exclusive contract.
Steiner noted if she were allowed to use Republic, "I'm going to save $7 a month and you would be taking that away from me [by approving the exclusive deal with J and J]."
Councilman Christopher Scott (District A) said he spoke with several residents who said they favored having one hauler. Scott also noted one hauler would reduce the amount of missed pickups and having fewer large trash trucks in the village would alleviate the wear and tear on the roads.
Council Vice President Bill Church (At large) said he felt it was time to move forward.
"I'm tired of dealing with it," said Church. "It went to the bidding. The bidding was fair. The [planning, zoning and insurance] committee selected what they thought was the lowest and/or the best [bid]. The survey [sent out to all village homes last spring] did indicate [a majority of residents favored] one hauler."
Steiner said the survey asked residents if they would favor one hauler for the village using curbside pickup with uniform containers if it would "add to reducing the cost of solid waste pickup."
"If we're going to be taking trash to the curb, I want to see uniform containers for aesthetics," said Councilwoman Karen Fuller (At large).
Councilman Gerald Jones (At large) said he wanted to resolve the contract issue before deciding on whether uniform containers should be required.
"I think you're going to open up another can of worms," said Jones.
"They looked at this from every angle," said Mayor Bernie Hovey. "I think they think the decision they made was in the best interest of the residents."