Greenville City Council discusses trash removal

By Tammy Watts

DailyAdvocate.com

GREENVILLE — The City Council of Greenville held its regular meeting on Tuesday, May 17. During the public comment portion of the meeting, Cathy Beam provided information about the Back the Blue Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony that will take place at Darke County Fairgrounds in Greenville on Saturday, May 21, from 4:30 to 10 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, and will feature food trucks, performers, and speakers.

Mayor Steve Willman shared his experience visiting Klöckner Pentaplast (KP Films), 1671 Martindale Road in Greenville. The plant manufactures films for packaging, and like many companies, is looking for employees.

“They need another 12 to 14 more people,” Willman stated.

Safety Service Director Ryan Delk was next to update the council, disclosing an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) violation the city received, as the result of a water sample not being submitted.

“It’s not as bad as it sounds,” Delk explained, “the sample was pulled, but a piece of equipment was broken at the lab where we test it.” The sample, along with others from several municipalities, could not be tested, causing violations to be issued to all involved. No fines were levied.

Resolutions and ordinances were passed, including authorizing the Safety Service Director to advertise for bids for the removal of lime sludge from the water treatment plant, and authorizing filing applications for the Community Parks Improvement Grant Program.

A large portion of the meeting was devoted to discussing how Greenville residents may benefit from the city providing in-house trash pick-up, as opposed to renewing a contract with Rumpke. Apart from the three percent increase in rates, Delk stated that he receives one or two complaints per week regarding customer service issues with Rumpke. Delk’s highest estimate for city trash removal is $19.25 per month, which would be included in utility bills. Greenville officials toured other cities and villages that provide their own garbage removal, including Troy, Piqua, Covington, West Milton, and Versailles.

Some council members expressed concerns that senior citizens, who do not have a lot of trash, may end up paying more. Approximately 990 Greenville residents qualify for the Homestead Exemption, so their monthly costs would be $16.36, a 60-cent increase from what they are now paying. Other council members pointed out that it would greatly help rental property owners, who have had to clean up basements full of trash after some occupants leave. With trash removal tied to the water bill, everyone would have toters (96-gallon containers for trash, and 48-gallon containers for recyclables), so it would be easy and convenient to dispose of waste.

“We’re not out to make a profit; it’s about service, and cleaning up the community,” said City Auditor Roxanne Willman.

In-house trash removal would also give Greenville more flexibility in offering large item pick-ups, and the ability to place extra toters downtown when special events are held, such as the Holiday Horse Parade.

A public hearing will be announced when council is ready to move forward on the issue. The city is currently under a one-year contract extension with Rumpke, which will end next May.

Contact Daily Advocate Reporter Tammy Watts at [email protected]