After plenty of discussions about trash, officials in Fortville are one step closer to a resolution when it comes to trash service.
Recently, officials voted in favor of first reading on an ordinance changing who will pay for trash service.
In the past, Fortville provided the pickup and collection of trash as part of its regular government services, but the cost of providing trash service has increased. While the fees increased, officials continued to absorb the cost, opting not to pass it on to residents.
"Historically, the town made the budget decision in past years to pay for trash pickup out of general revenues. The town made the decision to stop paying for the trash pickup because the trash pickup contract has gotten more expensive as the town grows since the cost is tied to number of houses," councilman Mike Frischkorn told Giant FM.
Frischkorn said this year alone, the cost for trash pickup is approximately $211,000, which is up from approximately $179,000 in the past.
Town manager Joe Renner told the council that in order to offset the costs, it is necessary to finally enact a fee. The fee will be included in resident’s utility bills.
Councilman Robert Holland reminded those in attendance at the recent council meeting that the primary reason for the fee being passed on is because the fee to the town increased.
“We absorbed that, and the growth has just compounded this. We choose at that time to absorb cost and not pass it along, but it is something we need to address,” Holland said.
Under the resolution, the town will now charge $10.86 and do away with recycling containers, something Frischkorn noted has been wrongly used recently.
“Unfortunately, town staff spends hours a week cleaning up the trash in that area. Also, those dumpsters are being used by people who are not Fortville residents and people are dumping trash there. We have had couches, tires, tvs, etc. dumped at the recycling dumpsters. It has become a burden so we decided to move away from it," he said.
Town council president Fritz Fentz has a simple solution for those still wanting recycling.
“If you want recycling, you have to pay for it on your own. Outside residents are using it, all that trash blows into the creek. They are throwing everything in there,” Fentz said.
Under the new ordinance, the trash collection fee will be prepared, billed and collected monthly and may be billed to the tenant or tenants occupying properties served. Furthermore, all trash collection fees not paid by the 17th of each month will be declared delinquent and be charged a penalty of 10 percent of the first $3 of delinquent fees and 3 percent on the remaining delinquent balance.
The issue of trash will be another focal point Monday evening during the town council meeting, as a public hearing will be held concerning trash fees.
The town council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at Town Hall, 714 East Broadway St., Fortville.