Village residents to see price increase in trash collection

By Dedra Cordle
Staff Writer

The village of Urbancrest has been participating in the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio’s community consortium program for more than a decade.

Within that time span, waste collection prices have been locked at a lower rate through a collective bidding process. Late last year, the agreement they were under lapsed and a new bidding process began.

Having gone over the bids at its meeting on Feb. 8, the village council authorized a new agreement that will see a slight increase in the waste collection fee for its residents.

According to village Mayor Joseph Barnes Sr., the rate that residents pay to have their waste and recyclables hauled will rise from $14.99 to $19.99. The rates for senior citizens will rise to $17.99.

While Barnes said rate hikes on any bill are not ideal, this was the lowest bid presented to members of the consortium.

“We have been in this program since 2011 and since 2011 this is the first time they have had to increase the rates,” Barnes said.

He said the village weighed the pros and cons of not authorizing the agreement but came to the determination that it presented the best deal for its residents.

“We would end up paying much more (had they not approved the new agreement),” he said.

Under the terms of the new agreement, the government buildings will receive their trash collection for free, as will the local churches. Barnes said they will also receive a special rate when they host community cleanup events.

SWACO’s community consortium program was formed in 2005 in an effort to increase waste diversion. The program allows communities to bargain for greater negotiating power when contracting for solid waste, recycling, and yard waste collection services.

Rumpke was awarded the hauling contract for this new agreement, which runs through the end of 2026. Local Waste will continue to be the provider for the village. Its neighboring communities – the city of the Grove City and Jackson Township – are also a part of the community consortium program. They too recently reauthorized the trash collection agreement for the same rate as the village.

In other news, an update on the process of the work being done at the Vaughn E. Hairston Southwest Community Center was provided at the meeting. According to Barnes, plumbers have recently been out to the site to give estimates and electricians are scheduled to come out later this month. He said the center will be transitioning to no-touch bathroom fixtures and LED lighting throughout the complex to cut down on costs.

Council member Lacy Wallace Jr. asked whether the community would have access to the facility this summer. Barnes said he believes there will be allowances for youth programs but said it was too early to determine whether it will be completely available to the public.

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