LOWELL | With the municipal garbage collection service emphasizing greater automation, the Town Council needs to decide, and quickly, whether it will give residents a choice in the matter.
James Metros, representing Republic Waste which is contracted by the town, told the Town Council on Monday that Republic will be supplying new garbage cans and recycling cans compatible with new garbage trucks with greater automation.
They will be more efficient, particularly in reducing workmen's compensation costs, and provide a cost savings to the town, Metros said.
Town Administrator Sue Peterson said she assumed the town would go with the more preferred 95-gallon cans rather than the smaller 65-gallon cans. She has prepared a letter to accompany the September water bill that explains the change.
However, Council Vice-President Craig Earley, D-1st, said he knows elderly people for which the larger can would be a burden and favored choice.
Although Metros said his company will be ordering the cans soon and a decision on size is needed, the council made no decision Monday.
Councilman Robert Philpot, R-2nd, suggested a separate mailing go out informing residents they will get a 95-gallon can unless they stipulate the smaller can now.
Resident Carl Ferro said it's not good to give people too many choices. "Give them the 95 and be done with it. People will adjust," he said.
In another matter, the council voted unanimously to support an extension of the 2002 bonds issued for Freedom Park.
Lowell Clerk/Treasurer Judy Walters explained the Freedom Park Committee has no operating balance to cover capital improvements. Extending the bond's life by eight years would give those overseeing the park's operation more than $300,000 for improvements, she said.
Councilman Robert Philpot, R-2nd, represents the council on the Freedom Park Committee. He said he feels the park could be a huge draw and greatly benefit the community's economy through features such as a disc golf course.
Philpot said, however, that the offices of West Creek Township Trustee Harold Mussman and Cedar Creek Township Trustee Alice Dahl did not favor a bond extension.
By voting unanimously for the extension, the council wanted to make clear its position in hope the advisory boards to those trustees might convince their trustees to re-think their positions.
The Freedom Park bonds are in the town's name, but the park is the cooperative endeavor of the two townships and the town. Each pays one-third of the bond payments through an interlocal agreement.