KENDALLVILLE — Plans to adopt a single, citywide trash hauler in Kendallville have been delayed more than a year, but they’re still in process.
At Tuesday’s Kendallville City Council meeting, city engineer Scott Derby gave a brief update about what’s happening in development of specifications that would be put out to haulers for bid.
First presented in April 2018, Kendallville proposed moving a citywide trash service in part as a way to remedy excess junk, trash-strewn yards, apartments and homes and trash burning that takes place. In most of those nuisance cases, city code enforcement officers find a tenant or resident simply doesn’t have trash service at the home.
Currently, every city resident has to contract with their own hauler individually, which also means multiple different companies are criss-crossing the city throughout the week.
At the time, city officials estimated most residents would see a savings through a citywide service. In northeast Indiana, prices range from about $6 per month to about $14.50 per month for citywide garbage service. Auburn and Angola, comparable in size to Kendallville, has trash service at $11.43 and $13.50 per month, respectively.
On Tuesday, Derby said the trash specs had been put on delay while his office was working on other more immediate projects, but that he’s committing to having something before council by the first week of March.
Derby said he’s still in the process of looking at other cities and towns and trying to compile specifications and language that will best serve Kendallville.
“We’ll get some input from council members and other departments,” Derby said. “I’ve spoken at length with the mayor recently and I have a deadline of early March, end of the first week of March, to have the specification for final review.”
The council already gave approval to the plan back in April 2018, so the trash specifications would go before the Board of Works and Public Safety for review before being put out to bid.
Council did here an objection from former Democratic mayoral candidate Tim Schlotter, who didn’t want residents to lose personal choice in order to enact a solution for what he viewed as an enforcement problem.
“If you continue with this and go ahead and do this, you’re going to create more of burning and more of a trash problem,” Schlotter said. “I walked around this summer and I could smell the burning. I could locate the burning. I could see them clearly. I don’t see that you should punish the rest of the citizens for the failings of a few.”
In other business Tuesday, the council:
• Granted a five-year tax abatement for Bollhoff Inc., which plans to add $1.1 million in new equipment to its plant on Marion Drive in the industrial park. Bollhoff will not create any new jobs, but will retain 76 employees. The estimated tax savings over five years totals $40,644.
• Heard an update about the city Economic Development Advisory Committee from Kendallville Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director and EDAC Coordinator Kristen Johnson. Johnson highlighted some accomplishments of the chamber over the last quarter. Council members signed off on the annual agreement with the chamber to provide EDAC support.
• Heard from Handshoe that Keith Ballard will fill a vacancy on the Kendallville Redevelopment Commission. Former President Ray Scott has resigned from the RDC and all other boards due to health issues, the mayor reported.
• Approved a zoning change regarding crematories on first reading, although council member Steve Clouse noted that one type of commercial zone was omitted from the list. City attorney Doug Atz said he would have to check with planning director Dave Lange about the issue.
• Approving a zoning change for KSN Kammerer LLC, to change the zone of its property at 2348 Kammerer Road from commercial to industrial. That change would allow the company to expand its footprint and use.