Board approves first reading of ordinance to eliminate trash receptacles on city right of way.


After months of meetings, go-arounds, discussions, disagreements and police reports, the city passed the first reading of an ordinance that would eliminate trash receptacles on city right of way.
Trash receptacles along the Bagnell Dam Strip have been the focus of the debate.

For the past five months, aldermen have disagreed over the best solution to combat the nuisance trash cans.

Large Dumpsters maintained by the restaurants on the Strip are often overflowing, unsightly and smelly after a few days, no matter how often the owners have them emptied.

Because of land limitations, the Dumpsters have been placed along the street or overlapping sidewalks in full view of passers-by.

Quarrels between business neighbors over one particular trash poly-cart has blown up to include city officials and police.

One business owner is documenting the movements of the trash can at the center of the controversy and the actions of its owners.

Erma Kelly, owner of A Touch of Style Gifts, handed the six-page document, including pictures, to city officials during Tuesday night’s Board of Aldermen meeting.

Chalk lines and masking tape have been used as an outline for the trash can’s placement. Now, green fluorescent paint marks the spot where the poly-cart should go.

On a 3-2 vote, aldermen approved the first reading of the ordinance that would prevent trash cans from being kept on city property. Aldermen Bill Bolin and Judy Neels voted "no," while aldermen Jeff Van Donsel, Larry Buschjost and Donald Langley voted in favor of the bill. Alderman Robert Davis was not present.

“A trash container is a trash container, it’s never going to be pretty,” Buschjost said before aldermen voted.

Neels voted against the first reading because she said she wasn’t sure it was going to include all the unique trash problems on the Strip. She was also worried about the safety of business owners having to walk or drive their bags of garbage to one of several central locations, especially in the early morning hours after bars close.

After the vote, Bolin asked that the second reading be held off for the next Board of Aldermen meeting. He wanted to allow business owners one last time to come to the city with a solution before the city considered their trash receptacle kept on city property a nuisance.

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