Commissioners request that city buy smaller trash trucks

By Dedra Cordle
Staff Writer

The Greater Hilltop Area Commission has submitted an unusual request for the city council to consider as they prepare to finalize their capital improvements budget and the capital improvements plan: invest funds that go toward the purchase of old trucks.

For the past several weeks, the advisory board has been soliciting feedback from the public on which capital improvements they would like to see in the area. Among the highest of priorities for the commission and the community at large was addressing the trash-filled alleys that have been plaguing the westside for decades.

The commission said at its meeting on April 4 that they would like for the city to consider the purchase of older or smaller trucks that are able to fit into the alleys to collect litter and other found furnishings as they did in the past.

According to commissioner Josh Maddox, the city has informed the advisory board that they would no longer be able to pick up trash in the alleys as the new trucks they purchased are too large for the narrow stretch of roadway. He said because there has been an increase in the trash found within the alleys since the decision was made, the only real choice they had was to ask the city to use capital improvement dollars to buy smaller trucks that can.

He said that while he is not confident they will do so, he added that it is something that needed to be requested.

Commissioner James White agreed.

“We want the right trucks to pick up trash in our communities’ alleys because that is what our community needs,” he said.

Several city officials who were in the audience questioned whether this would be considered an operational expense rather than a capital expense. The commission said it could be both since the city would have to pay drivers to pick up the trash but noted that the request to purchase smaller trucks could be viewed more on the capital side of the budget.

Olabisi Eddy, the city’s westside neighborhood liaison, said there are a number of initiatives the city is taking to address the litter problem, such as moving to 90-gallon collection bins.
Commissioner Leah Brudno said that is a start but it is not enough.

“We’ve been yelling at them (about this issue) for many years,” she said. “We want them to pick up the damn trash in the alleys.”

Brudno added that she would also like to see the alleys fortified so they experience less wear and tear if and when collection trucks venture down there again.

The other two priority items on the commission’s capital improvements list was alley repairs and the installation of additional alley lights in the central Hilltop region and the construction of a multi-purpose community facility in the Holly Hill/Georgian Heights/Eakin Elementary School area.

Columbus residents can also submit their own list of capital improvements they would like the city to consider for their neighborhood in future budgets. A link to the form can be found on the Greater Hilltop Area Commission’s Facebook page.

In other news:

Derrick Hessler, the community relations coordinator with Rise Up CBUS!, invited the public to attend the dozen Rise Up CBUS! events that will be taking place throughout the remainder of the year. There are four events scheduled on the westside: April 27 at the Dodge Community Center, 667 Sullivant Ave.; July 13 at Columbia Heights Church, 775 Galloway Road.; Aug. 24 at the Central Baptist Church, 1955 Frank Road.; Sept. 28 at Wedgewood Middle School, 3800 Briggs Road.

All of the events are scheduled to take place from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
For a complete list of locations, visit the city’s Rise Up CBUS! website at columbus.gov/neighborhoods/Rise-Up-CBUS!

At 12:30 p.m. on April 29, commissioner Jennie Keplar will be hosting a “Context Training” presentation at the Columbus Metropolitan Library: Hilltop Branch, 511 S. Hague Ave. that goes over topics such as the history of the Hilltop and the history of the area commission and its purpose.

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1 COMMENT

  1. I agree with everything proposed/or suggested. It’s deplorable how the city generates the notion of the allies not being a part of the city. Allies need to be put in the same language as streets. secondly; I’m still upset at the money provided for the Westside school rec centers that were built only to be used by students meaning nothing was put inside the center for community activities. This area is full of children with nowhere to go for activities, even as simple as basketball, limited inside courts. the city creates its problems by trying to ignore areas it deems lost. Then they want to point fingers at parents who most work but their children have nowhere to go for sanctions/or safety. STOP! catering to the areas, not in need and start bringing back areas that were stable until you felt the area was unfounded due to different lifestyles and hue. Keep running until you come to the end of the cliff…..

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