The Glen Rose City Council voted Tuesday night to make some cost-saving changes for monthly residential garbage service.
The special town hall session was called to discuss some of the details of the city’s contract with Knox Waste Services (KWS), which had gone into effect on Jan. 1. That five-year contract called for residential solid waste pickup to be twice a week at a basic cost of $17.95 a month. That existing deal gave each residence one 95-gallon rollout cart.
“The options we found that are negotiable are bulk pickup and twice-a-week (residential) pickup,” Glen Rose City Administrator Michael Leamons told the Council during the meeting.
Another part of the 4-1 vote Tuesday was to correct a clerical error that is in the current five-year contract with KWS. The vote allowed the end date for the four-year contract to be corrected from Dec. 31, 2023 to Dec. 31, 2022.
By a vote of 4-1 Monday, the Council voted to make changes to those details in the KWS contract. Members Dennis Moore, Robert Marquez, Julia Douglas and Johnny Moore voted in favor of the change. Chris Bryant cast the lone no vote.
Perhaps the most prominent change as the result of the vote is that trash pickup will change to only once per week, with the cost per customer dropping to $9.95 a month.
The town hall format was set up to allow residents to come to the podium and give their opinions, and state whether they were in favor of Option 1 (twice a week), or Option 2 (once a week).
“It seems like it should be half as much as the twice a week. I don’t think they’re doing the city any good for the numbers they are offering,” resident Richard Vaughn said when he came to the podium.
“It seems to me once a week would be enough,” resident Kathy Mullins told the Council.
Nine of 14 residents who spoke indicated they wanted Option 2.
“So for the citizens who came out, it paid off in voting for the decision that was made,” Leamons told the Glen Rose Reporter after the meeting.
A second topic, on whether to have curbside residential bulk trash pickup service twice a year was also debated. The second option on bulk residential pickup was approved in that vote, which provides curbside pickup twice a year.
The terms offered by KWS under that particular part of the agreement — keeping the cost the same — means that the city will have 12 large rolloff containers instead of 24. Last year, under its old contract with its previous provider, Waste Connections, the city used 18 rolloffs during that 12-month period.
“These are the options you are willing to give,” Council member Chris Bryant said, addressing the KWS representative who attended the meeting. “The previous Council and the city administrator pretty much stuck it to our citizens.”
The change in the number of large rolloff bins, for bulky items not picked up on the weekly route, from 24 to 12 will mean that “instead, we’ll get two bulk collections per year,” Leamons said.
During the Council’s discussion of the possibilities, Douglas said, “I think the two curbside pickups (bulk, per year) will meet the needs of a lot more people.”
Marquez stated that he wants to have more accountability for the bulk items that are being dropped off at the convenience station, which is located on Highway 56 North, near Rivers Church.
“The city needs more accountability for who goes in there,” Marquez said. “We’ve always had a problem with illegal dumping.”
MAYBE BY APRIL?
The time frame for the changes to once-a-week basic trash pickup have not yet been finalized with the KWS representative.
“I’ll be getting with him,” Leamons said after Tuesday’s special meeting.
Leamons said the KWS representative thought that the necessary adjustments could be made by early April, but that may change based on what the company — which is based in Tye, near Abilene, is able to do.
“They’re going to have to reschedule their routes,” Leamons explained. “They’ve got to do some coordinating.
“I had the impression they would be ready by the first of April. I’m going to be confirming that. We will be letting the citizens know, when we confirm that.”
Leamons noted that the city will “need to hear from citizens who need two poly carts when we change. They can get an extra cart for a month (if needed).”