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Council to consider changes to solid waste ordinance

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The Roswell City Council will consider how the city sets fees for solid waste collection and disposal in a public hearing during its next meeting, Aug. 13.

Resolution 20-09 would amend several sections of Chapter 21 of the Roswell City Code regarding solid waste, including deleting all reference to fees and redefining “collection.”

Ideally, at the same meeting the council will vote on re-establishing the fees through a resolution.

The Finance Committee will consider forwarding a resolution outlining the fees to the full council when it meets at 9 a.m. Thursday. The proposed resolution does not change the fees from what is currently set by city ordinance.

City Manager Joe Neeb said at the July 9 City Council meeting it is another in a series of fees being removed from city code.

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“What we are doing, and we’ve been doing this the last couple of years, is moving the fees out of ordinance and placing them into a master fee resolution so that the City Council can review those fees on a more regular basis,” he said.

The city has included in the fiscal 2021 budget a study to evaluate fees for the enterprise funds — water, sewer and solid waste — Neeb said.

“A lot of these were put in place a long time ago and they weren’t necessarily updated based on changing circumstances and inflation and all those issues,” Interim City Attorney Parker Patterson said. “This is going to allow us to do that in a much more expedited and appropriate fashion.”

If the City Council passes both resolutions, property owners should not notice any change, Neeb said.

“There will be no difference from one month to the next,” he said.

Resolution 20-09 will also change the city code’s definition of solid waste collection, which will allow the city to evaluate its franchise agreements, Patterson said.

The new definition of collection would remove the phrase “the process of collecting” and add language to specify it is “providing a service of gathering solid waste from one or more persons or premises within the city.”

It further adds language excepting solid waste “incidental to the provision of other goods or services.”

“The distinction would be if you take your own refuse to the landfill, that’s not collection. Similarly, if you hired a business to do something for you and they take something to the landfill, it’s not collection. They are not in the business of solid waste collection,” Patterson said, giving construction and landscaping contractors as examples.

The new definition would also include materials transported for recycling.

The city is ending its own recycling program and will remove the large green recycling bins from around the city at the end of September. The city has been in talks with a local company, J&A Recycling, on a franchise agreement for curbside recycling service.

Patterson said the change to the code will allow the city to evaluate all its solid waste franchise agreements, something that has been on the back burner for some time.

He said the city has had agreements with four or five companies for solid waste collection over the years.

“So many of them are agreements that have expired. Some of them were done through a proper franchise agreement, some of them maybe not. We want to figure out who is actually out there that is providing that service today and reboot that relationship and get rid of the ones that are no longer there,” he said.

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