By Matt Clevenger
WEST MILTON — Members of the West Milton Village Council held a swearing-in ceremony for new Council member Sarah Gregory during their regularly scheduled meeting held on Tuesday, Sept. 12.
Gregory was nominated during the meeting by Council member Don Dohrman, and approved by a unanimous vote from council.
In other business, council members also heard the first reading of three ordinances to amend policies on refuse pick-up for the village’s municipal trash service.
The first ordinance would require refuse and recyclables to be placed in the right of way off of the street and at the curb, and prohibit the placement or pick-up of refuse in alleys.
“We’re not trying to inconvenience anyone,” Director of Service Ben Herron said. “Alleys aren’t built like regular streets; our trash trucks tear up the alleys.”
“We’re not going to be able to resurface those alleys any time soon so the more we ride them, the more that we’re going to tear them up,” he said.
Narrow alleys are also unsafe for the village’s trash trucks due to their narrow width, Herron said.
“The alleys are really narrow; visibility is really hard for the driver,” he said. “The helping-hand arm needs a little bit of room to work.”
“Most of the incidents we’ve had that would be property damage and such have happened in alleys,” Herron said. “I know it’s going to be an inconvenience, because we’ve picked-up in alleys forever, but it’s just safer and better for our alleys to do it this way.”
Two other ordinances read at the meeting would also amend the village’s policies on yard waste disposal and bulk refuse pick-up.
Changes to the yard waste policies would allow the village to set dates for yard waste to be hauled by residents and dropped off at a site chosen by the director of service, and establish one day per week Monday through Friday for the collection of bagged yard waste.
All yard waste to be collected would have to be bagged and bundled, except for leaves that are collected during the annual leaf collection program. Bundles would have a maximum length of five feet.
“This is just for Monday yard waste,” Herron said.
Bags must be paper and of a reasonable weight, where one person can easily load the bag onto a truck or trailer for removal. The village will provide a certain number of free bags to residents, however residents must come to the municipal building to pick-up bags, and are required to call ahead to request pick-up.
Other proposed changes would affect the village’s bulk pick-up, giving the director of service authority to deny bulk collection if it is deemed that the bulk quantity is too large. Each household would be limited to a certain number of bulk collections annually, to be set by the director of service with advice from the mayor, council and the municipal manager.
After the set number is reached, the municipality reserves the right to refuse collection, or charge the householder a fee decided upon by the director of service and the municipal manager.
“Council is entertaining the number of a dozen collections annually,” Herron said.
“Basically, we just want to make sure that everybody in West Milton can get their bulk collected,” he said. “If we’re having issues with it, then we’ll come back to council.”
Council members also passed a resolution to award a $152,450 contract for replacement of the municipal park retaining wall to Coate Construction of West Milton. A grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources will reimburse the village $21,022 after the project is complete.
“This is the final step in getting the retaining wall replaced,” municipal manager Jeff Sheridan said. “Construction can begin later this year.”
Council also heard several announcements from council members during the meeting.
“The Fall Fling is on Saturday, Sept. 16, from 4 to 8 p.m.,” Council President Sarah Copp said. “That’s always a really big event.”
The village will also continue to host Third Thursday events through October, Copp said.
Council member Chris Horn discussed a renewal street levy that will appear before voters on the November ballot.
“Money raised by the street levy; currently for the year 2023 it’s $190,487,” Horn said. “It goes directly into street repair, that’s raised from taxes.”
“That’s going to be on the ballot here in November,” he said.
“It’s a renewal, not a new tax,” Sheridan said.