Martinsville City Council Rejects Rise in Garbage Fees and Approves 2022 Budget

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MARTINSVILLE – The City of Martinsville’s sanitation department will have a budget deficit of about $ 600,000 next year after city council members rejected a proposal that would have tripled the cost of garbage collection to cover the deficit .

Martinsville City Council voted 5-2 against amending the city’s solid waste ordinance to increase the monthly pickup fee from the current rate of $ 7.50 to $ 15 on November 1 and to $ 20 on July 1, 2022. Board members Phil Deckard Sr., Josh Ferran, Suzie Lipps, Ben Mahan and Ann Miller voted against the fee increase; Phil Deckard Jr. and Jim Wisco voted in favor.

Leaving the rate fixed means the city will have to look elsewhere to fill a projected monthly deficit of $ 50,000 in the 2022 sanitation department budget, according to City Superintendent Mac Dunn.

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The city first implemented a $ 7.50 garbage charge at the start of the year to offset the costs of its sanitation department, which has five full-time employees. Raising that charge to $ 20 per month by July of next year would have allowed the sanitation service to operate on its own and operate as a utility, like water and sewerage, Dunn said.

The city collects garbage for around 3,650 households. At a rate of $ 7.50 per month, that’s $ 328,500 in annual revenue, well below the Sanitation Department’s $ 1.1 million budget for next year.

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The city pays Waste Management about $ 500,000 a year to transport the waste from its transfer station, Dunn said. The city’s current deal with the company runs until March 2024, and by the end of next year, the city will start looking at other options, of which there are few, Dunn said.

“It’s an industry that is controlled by two or three operators,” he said.

City officials said they would explore other ways to cut costs, such as limiting the number of trash bags a resident can leave on the sidewalk each week, throwing their trash at a new Monroe County landfill or completely privatize the garbage service.

In the town of Mooresville, where the service is privatized, residents pay between $ 19 and $ 23 per month, depending on their provider.

Economic passes

At Tuesday night’s city council meeting, council voted 5-2 to adopt a spending plan of $ 17.2 million for 2022, up from nearly $ 15.2 million in 2021.

Board members Deckard Sr., Deckard, Lipps, Miller and Wisco voted to pass the budget, while Mahan and Ferran voted against.

The fund that receives the most money is the general fund at $ 7.5 million. The city also has a motor vehicle road fund of $ 1.73 million – a slight increase from $ 1.7 million in 2021 – and a public safety LOIT fund of $ 1.17 million. of dollars, an increase over last year’s budget of $ 971,450.

The overall budget also includes a five percent increase for most of the city’s employees.

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Proclamation

Mayor Kenny Costin read a proclamation designating the week of October 18-23 as “Indiana Extension Homeowners Association Week.”

The IEHA was organized in 1913 under the auspices of Purdue University. There are currently seven active housewives clubs with 56 members in Martinsville and Morgan County. The service organization offers scholarships to high school students in the area and monthly grants to teachers for elementary schools.

Martinsville Mayor Kenny Costin presents a proclamation to members of Morgan County Extension Homemakers.

Garage sales, vaccine mandates discussed

City Councilor Wisco, who sits on the garage sale ordinance committee, said the city may expand its current ordinance to allow more garage sales on residential properties.

The current ordinance allows residents to have a garage sale four out of 90 days. Wisco said increasing that number to eight or nine every three months “doesn’t seem too heavy.”

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Costin asked Wisco to speak with City Attorney Dale Coffey to draft an amendment to the city ordinance.

First Deputy Clerk Ben Merida, who sits on the new Health Freedom Ordinance committee, informed the council of his efforts to persuade the city to ban vaccines or masks.

The committee is currently drafting a resolution for the city to pass “in favor of personal freedom in the areas of health and safety,” Merida said.

Merida said the committee plans to present a resolution to Council at its next meeting, which is scheduled for Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. at Martinsville Town Hall, 59 S. Jefferson St.

City buys the former Smoothie Shop, an orchestral platform

During Tuesday’s Work and Safety Council meeting, which takes place ahead of the city council meeting, the council approved two purchases related to the city’s downtown action plan.

The Board of Directors has approved the purchase for $ 72,000 of a music stand from RCP Shelters, Inc., which will be installed in a planned performance park near the intersection of Jefferson and Pike streets.

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Council also approved the purchase of 56 E. Morgan Street, the former location of a smoothie store. The space will be transformed into a visitor center and public washroom, according to Gary Oakes, the city’s planning and engineering director.

The downtown action plan – estimated at around $ 17.65 million and slated for completion in fall 2022 – also includes improvements to the Morgan County Courthouse and Courthouse Square.

In other cases:

  • The council awarded bids to LaFarry Group for structural demolition on city-owned properties related to planned improvements on South Street.
  • The council forwarded three tort claims to the city’s insurance provider
  • The council approved sewer adjustments for four houses.

The next regular meeting of the Works and Safety Council will be held at 6.30 p.m. on October 25 at City Hall.

Contact journalist Peter Blanchard at 765-346-2942 or [email protected] Follow him on twitter @peterlblanchard.



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