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Trash picking ban stays
In a 3 to 0 vote, the Bexley City Council service committee decided not to alter the current ordinance banning individuals from trash picking for reusable items.
Bexley resident Robert Jessberger had suggested a change to the current rules including implementing an application process, fee and background check of all individuals interested in being permitted to pick-up discarded household and entertainment items that, with a little TLC, still have life.
"I would like to reiterate that I am not talking about 'going through' anyone's trash," Jessberger said. "I am talking about picking up whole items set out either in separate containers or whole. Residents expect that useful discarded items will be trash picked by someone, and from my experience, are happy to have the item find a new home."
Addressing concerns about personal identity safety, Jessberger noted that his research has indicated that most identity theft is a result of theft of credit card or check information directly from merchants either by stealing of databases or coercive (online) activities.
Council member Mark Masser voiced his opposition to any changes to the current ordinance and noted that organizations such as MAP Furniture Bank will come to resident's homes and load usable household items into their truck and take it away. Masser did recognize that it may be an issue of educating residents to available services for disposing or recycling of unwanted items without setting them out on trash day.
MAP Furniture Bank (www.mapfurniturebank.org) is in Bexley every Thursday to pick-up donations. Usable household items can be picked up by appointment by calling the MAP office and will not be picked up without an appointment.
Resident Sandra Andorka offered her support for Jessberger's plan, noting that she has also collected items left out and had conversations with residents saying they had put items out in order for someone like her to pick them up. Suggesting that many residents are not motivated to call an organization, she said residents find it easier to leave items out on trash day, hoping someone will pick it up but if not, then the trash truck will take it away to the landfill.
Service committee chair Rick Weber committed to "look into some opportunities to try to better publicize and or make available drop-offs, or (see if) some organizations might make more drop-offs available for people that would be willing to take (their) items."
Jessberger is considering whether or not to pursue a ballot issue to ask the voters if he, and other pickers, should be allowed to continue to recycle and reuse unwanted items.
In other action, the committee heard a clarification of how snow plowing and salt distribution is prioritized and suggested plans for street and sidewalk improvement in 2009.
Service Director Bill Harvey outlined the process for distributing salt trucks and snow plows, pointing out that main thoroughfares, such as Main and Broad streets, are attended to first.
If not a weekend, and school is expected to be in session, the area around the schools comes next, followed by secondary roads. Side streets and alleys are not salted because the volume of traffic is not enough to make it effective.
Often salt is left in the intersection to help vehicles traveling the smaller streets and alleys. Even though there has not been a change in the distribution of resources, Harvey felt it necessary, in light of recent weather events, to remind council members so that they can answer resident's questions as they arise.
Also addressed at the meeting, current plans for street and sidewalk improvements are moving forward with the process of bidding for those projects anticipated to utilize current funds.
At this time it appears that prices are dropping, said Harvey, who is interested to start taking bids to get an idea of what costs will be so that decisions can be made on how many projects may be able to move forward in 2009.
Street work along Sheridan and Francis avenues was approved last year and is already funded by the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) to go ahead in 2009. Seven to eight streets are on the table for consideration this year to be paid for with budgeted local funds.
Consideration is being made to ask for additional funds for work along Mound Street and Fair Avenue from OPWC since these two streets meet OPWC criteria.
In regards to planned sidewalk work, Harvey has requested that the city engineer get better estimates for what it will cost and that it is important to move forward to get the work done in 2009 because it has already been committed to residents.
No final decisions were made. Consideration and decisions will need to be made about how to pay for these projects as costs and available funds information is collected.
Harvey will have available for council by Feb. 17 a chronological breakdown of where the process is and when decisions need to be made.
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