(Posted Aug. 19, 2019)
By Andrew Garrett, Staff Writer
London residents don’t have long to wait before they receive their new trash cans.
On Aug. 15, city council authorized the Board of Public Utilities to contract through a joint purchasing program for the new cans. The cost is approximately $256,000 and is being passed on to the city’s businesses and homeowners.
Citizens can expect the cans to be available in early October, according to council member Anthony Smith. The London trash bags are to be used until the cans arrive, he added.
This subject was the reason resident Melody Earles addressed council.
Earles was not happy with how the city handled informing residents about the switch from bags and bins to the new double can system.
“The last time I saw you folks,” Earles said to the council members, “I told you I was concerned because some of the citizens still don’t understand this trash can. They think they’re being given trash cans.”
Earles said the leaflet the city included with recent public utility bills did not do a good job of explaining the cost of the new cans and how that cost would be passed on to residents. The cost will be incorporated into residents’ waste management bills. She also said that residents who paid their bill electronically did not receive a mailing about the new cans.
Smith disagreed, saying the city has provided the necessary information.
“Yeah, I mean I don’t know how much more we could do to really inform everybody on everything, but the legislation is clear. The information that went out should have been clear,” he said.
Earles said she felt council was just telling her things to get her to sit down and be quiet. She pushed on to another complaint regarding the upkeep of non-vacated alleys. She wanted to know who is responsible for maintaining them, the city, property owners, or renters.
According to Bill Long, the city’s Street Department superintendent, the city owns the alleys, but the responsibility of maintaining them belongs to the owners of the properties adjoining them.
“It’s just like the green space between the curb and sidewalk,” he said.
Earles argued with Long on the topic and engaged council about it before walking away disappointedly.
In other business, council passed legislation increasing appropriations to repair the roof and heating system of the old vocational agriculture building located southeast of city hall. The idea is to protect the city’s assets before winter comes, said Mayor Patrick Closser.