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Morning Sun
  • TOP 10 OF 2012: Trash issue creates controversy in city

  • Before the year, who would have thought that the biggest issue for the Pittsburg City Commission would be trash? But alas, that will be the lasting memory for many of 2012. The problem of trash had long been on the minds of city commissioners. In fact, at the February 14 city meeting, City Commissioner...
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  • Before the year, who would have thought that the biggest issue for the Pittsburg City Commission would be trash? But alas, that will be the lasting memory for many of 2012.
    The problem of trash had long been on the minds of city commissioners. In fact, at the February 14 city meeting, City Commissioner Patrick O’Bryan brought a bag of trash he’d collected along the streets earlier that day to the meeting.
    But the issue truly did not get going until September, when Pittsburg City Manager Daron Hall met with local trash haulers. Included in the information at that meeting was a list of goals, including a potential bidding out of city trash services.
    This caused the local trash haulers to sound the alarms, and within days a protest was held outside City Hall to express support for the local haulers. That led to a contentious city commission meeting in November in which the city commission room was filled beyond the brink with those showing support for their local haulers. The crowd was so large that some had to be taken to a nearby room at the law enforcement center to watch the meeting on television.
    After hours of impassioned and occasionally angry public comments, the city commission passed a resolution of intent 3-2 (Draper and Ketterman against; Gray, Beezley and O’Bryan for), kicking off a 90-day timer for a trash plan to come to the city commission.
    Originally, a 14-person trash task force was proposed to take up the task of determining a plan for addressing the city’s trash problem. But at that November commission meeting, the city allowed a representative from each of the local haulers to be on the task force.
    That task force, now nearly 20 members strong, began meeting late in the year and is co-chaired by Monica Murnan and Blake Benson.
    To date, the task force has come up with the “best guess” that roughly 20 percent of Pittsburg single- and two-family residences do not have some form of trash service to their home, which would be a violation of city ordinances.
    Furthermore, the task force has begun investigating potential trash systems for the city.
    Ultimately, a decision must be reached by the task force by mid-January to present some sort of proposal to the city commission by the Jan. 22 commission meeting, the last before the 90-day time limit expires.

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