Hammond City Council to weigh regulations for drop boxes

2012-12-15T21:00:00Z 2012-12-15T21:49:06Z Hammond City Council to weigh regulations for drop boxesChelsea Schneider Kirk chelsea.schneider@nwi.com, (219) 933-3241 nwitimes.com

HAMMOND | The City Council is expected to take a final vote Monday on a proposal to regulate donation boxes.

The ordinance makes property owners responsible for maintaining and cleaning up litter around bins and drop boxes on their sites. Failing to maintain a box could result in a fine.

City Councilman Janet Venecz, D-at large, said she's received calls from residents happy that the council is looking at the matter.

“This one woman said when you drive into the Water Gardens that is the first thing you see with all the junk strewn all over,” Venecz said. “We like our neighborhoods to be clean."

Venecz decided to sponsor the ordinance because of complaints of overloaded bins around a Robertsdale grocery store.

Along with maintaining cleanliness, the ordinance requires information to be placed on the bins, including a copy of written permission of the property owner and contact information for the bin's owner and the property owner.

Tom Dabertin, president of the Whiting-Robertsdale Chamber of Commerce, said while the chamber is supportive of charitable causes and not opposed to drop boxes, there is concern that some boxes distract from the appearance of the community.

“Frankly, some of the operators running the drop boxes aren't doing a very good job of policing them,” Dabertin said. “They are allowing people to drop things off that drop boxes aren't designed to accept.

"They are leaving debris in and around those boxes and it becomes a detriment to the community and a distraction."

The City Council will meet in caucus at 5:15 p.m. in Room 205 of City Hall. The regular meeting begins at 6 p.m. inside council chambers.

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