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City talks trash at public forum

Larry Connolly, far right, makes a comment at the Ward 3 public forum on Monday night. City staff including, from left, Steve Miko, Louis Najar, Mike Mathews, Steve Henderson and Enid Costley attended the forum in the gym of Military Heights Elementary School at 1900 N. Michigan Ave. (Alison Penn Photo)

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Cielo Grande, lid installation and alleys discussed

The city of Roswell wrapped up its last public forum of the year on Monday night, and topics raised by citizens were focused on trash services.

The last forum was held at Military Heights Elementary School in Ward 3, and a few citizens joined City Manager Joe Neeb and approximately 11 city staff members who were present. Citizens brought up topics related to trash at Cielo Grande, the alleyways and more.

Steve Miko, the city’s sanitation, landfill and recycling director, shared basic information about Roswell’s recycling roll-offs.

Over the last year, the city has hosted 10 public forums, so that each of the five city wards had two forums in different locations around the city. Neeb said the city is already preparing for more public forums in the upcoming year. He said the idea is to have set topics at these future forums. For example, he said a forum dedicated to public safety is planned for February.

Cielo Grande

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Margie Camp, a citizen of Roswell for 40 years, said she has lived near Cielo Grande Recreation Area for a majority of those years and feels a sense of ownership in regard to the walking trails. During her walks, she said she picks up an abundance of trash and has noticed a surplus of plastic water bottles, especially during the soccer season. Camp asked what the city could do about the issue and expressed concerns about the environment. She suggested a plastic recycling bin be placed at Cielo Grande during the high-traffic sports seasons.

Camp said it is “so sad that there is not a better attitude toward our environment,” and she hopes that adults and children using the area will clean up after using the facilities.

In response to Camp’s suggestion, Miko said he liked the idea of having something small, or just for plastic, at Cielo Grande. He said he thought the sports teams would usually collect trash at their games. Miko said he would talk to the parks and recreation department to remind people to recycle.

Larry Connolly suggested putting a recycling or trash bin in the parking lot for easy access.

Camp said this was the first forum she attended and she found it to be valuable and informative. She said she liked the attitudes of the city staff and the communication was positive.

Installing lids

Providing an update on the citywide initiative to install lids on trash cans, Miko said the 300-gallon tan containers may all have lids in the spring. Miko said the city has 1,200 tan containers and has ordered 1,000 lids so far, with intermittent delays. He said the additional 200 lids are expected to arrive in mid-January.

Miko said his department has been installing about 200 lids per month. After the installations are finished, Miko said an inventory will be conducted to see how many more containers need lids to finish the project. He said it is estimated that the project will conclude in March or April.

Neeb reiterated that older black cans will not be supplied with lids because such lids can’t be ordered. He said the idea is to eventually rotate the black ones out and transition to 96-gallon totes. In the big picture, City Engineer Louis Najar said the city envisions a complete conversion to the 96-gallon totes.

Alley upkeep

Connolly said the alleys “are looking 100 percent better.” Najar gave “kudos” to the efficiency of the sanitation department and their plan to be consistent in posting on the city’s website which week they will be present in their determined quadrants of the city.

Bruce Stubbs said the new garbage truck “was too quiet” and Miko laughed, saying he had heard that same comment earlier in the day.

With the idea of keeping the neighborhoods cleaner and safer, Neeb said the city recently hired grapplers who go through all of the alleys on a monthly cycle, and the trash collection is more efficient. Neeb said public notices will be sent out in February, with utility bills, with information for citizens about alleyway maintenance.

City/RISD reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.

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