Grass collection costing Portage more green
By John Robbins Post-Tribune correspondent October 2, 2012 9:04PM
Updated: October 2, 2012 10:19PM
PORTAGE — The numbers presented to Portage City Council members Tuesday by Assistant Street Superintendent Randy Reeder got their attention.
The city’s sanitation crews collected 35,273 bags of grass during the month of August. Reeder estimated it amounted to 617 tons of grass taken to the landfill at a cost to the city of nearly $29,000.
“I look at the report and think that $29,000 is the cost of a police car,” said Mayor James Snyder on the one-month cost of disposing grass.
For a four-month mowing season, that’s a lot of greenery going into the landfill that the city would like to see taken to its compost site instead.
Reeder said 6.1 percent of the city’s garbage is being recycled, up from about 4 percent last year, which translates to less money spent on landfill costs.
The new sanitation contract with Republic Services will be signed on Wednesday, according to Reeder. Large “toter” garbage cans will be distributed within 90 days of signing.
Reeder expects residents to begin seeing them in 60 days and noted that residents can use the toters immediately because the retrofit of garbage trucks will be completed in October.
Meanwhile, the term limits ordinance that Councilman John Cannon, R-4th, introduced last month died for lack of a second. Cannon proposed that elected officials could not serve more than two consecutive terms.
The council approved pay ordinances for elected and appointed city workers for 2013. The salaries for mayor, clerk-treasurer and city council members remain unchanged from 2012 levels.
The mayor will receive $50,920, the clerk-treasurer will be paid $54,093 and council members will receive $12,000. The mayor also receives stipends from serving on the redevelopment and utility commissions.
Property owners in the Marina Shores Special Improvement District will see their 2013 assessment essentially unchanged from 2012. About $620,331 will be collected to satisfy bond interest and principal payments.