Home Politics City council pass an amendment to the trash ordinance

City council pass an amendment to the trash ordinance

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Council Members adopted an amendment to the garbage and rubbish ordinance, in response to citizen outcry following the many warnings that were issued in the weeks leading up to their Oct. 20 meeting.

Fourth Ward Rep. Chris Fahl* proposed the amendment on the trash ordinance, which was in its third and final reading, requiring trash cans to be “out of sight” of the address street of the home instead of “out of sight” from all sides, as the previous ordinance required.

“I think this is a more progressive, responsible way to move forward with this ordinance,” At-Large Rep. Steve Patterson* said. “I think we’ve had a lot of citizens [who live on corner lots] voice concern, saying ‘Where in the world am I going to put my trash can?’ I think this is a much wiser direction to go.”

The amendment also removed language about “screening” trash cans. The proposed amendment would move the starting date of enforcement of the ordinance from Jan. 1 to June 1. Member Fahl* said that June was a better time for residents who may want to implement creative ways to get their cans out of sight.

“We realized that people are going to try to use the best and most reasoned way to get their garbage out of sight,” Fahl said.*

The proposed changes keep an option for residents to apply for waivers through a written process and to be approved by administration officials. Fahl* said the waiver portion of the ordinance was very important because it is not included in the trash ordinance that is currently on the books for Athens County.

“It allows for people who have problems with topography or something to come forward and for the city to work with them to make a difficult situation the best that it can be,” Fahl said.*

Patterson* also expressed his support for the amendment with the waiver option included, saying he had been contacted by the Commission of Disabilities as well as other residents about keeping the provision that allowed for waivers.

The unanimous passing of this amendment means that the trash ordinance will be in its second reading at the next Council meeting in two weeks.

“I support the amendment,” said Third Ward Rep. Michele Papai.* “I appreciate the discussion and compromise. It’s been a healthy discussion and I think we all can live with what’s been put down in writing now and what will be enforced.”

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