Mobile home park residents in Portage unhappy about loss of trash service
By John Robbins Post-Tribune correspondent June 1, 2012 5:45PM
Updated: July 6, 2012 10:48AM
PORTAGE — Community members of Ingram Manor and Camelot Manor turned out Friday night to hear what Portage has planned for their garbage collection. The City Council set off alarms at its last meeting when an ordinance was introduced that would immediately eliminate city garbage collection in mobile home parks.
Mayor James Snyder and Councilman John Cannon called the meeting to hear concerns and present city plans for garbage pickup. Council President Sue Lynch, Councilman Matt Scheuer and Clerk Treasurer Christopher Stidham also attended.
The impatient but attentive crowd listened while Snyder explained the issues and possible resolution. Snyder issued a request for proposals from Waste Management and Republic to provide a two-tiered garbage collection system. Snyder is seeking a private operator to collect garbage from mobile home parks but would continue using city crews to collect garbage throughout the rest of the city. The mayor is hopeful that two 96-gallon trash containers will be offered free to city residents in exchange for all revenue from the sale of recyclables. Mobile home residents would have the option of using a smaller 65-gallon container.
Concerns expressed by the audience included being treated separately from other city residents, size of containers, ease of use of the containers, and storage of the containers.
When Scheuer walked to the front of the room to speak, several audience members walked out and the meeting became tense amid scattered boos. Scheuer said he did not intend for the ordinance to take effect immediately but discussion of the ordinance was curtailed when Cannon voted against it, necessitating a second reading that will take place next week.
“It is true the city of Portage will no longer be picking up your garbage,” Scheuer said. “There is no other manufactured home community in Northwest Indiana that has municipal garbage collection.”
Several more people then walked out.
Snyder could veto the ordinance but wants to wait to see what the council does and review the proposals due back on June 13. Scheuer said he was not happy with the rate of progress in implementing change to garbage collection.
“Just in introducing the ordinance I have accomplished the goal of getting the ball rolling,” Scheuer said.