The issue of whether the city of Grain Valley should municipalize trash service continues to inflame some residents who say it’s government intrusion. The topic was discussed at Monday’s board of aldermen meeting.
The issue of whether the city of Grain Valley should municipalize trash service continues to inflame some residents who say it’s government intrusion.
The topic was discussed at Monday’s board of aldermen meeting.
City staff has been working on a plan to make trash pickup a city service like water and sewer.
The advantages, according to city administrator Gary Bradley, would be lower costs for residents, less truck traffic because of fewer trash companies operating in town, and a more efficient way to pick up trash.
The cost would be $15 per household and $10 per elderly household.
Many questions still have to be hashed out and mayor Dave Halphin said he has many of those questions, especially concerning cost of the project.
The city created a six-member task force composed of elected officials and citizens to come up with recommendations to the board.
Bradley has said citizens could either be billed directly by a provider, or the city could enter into a contract with the provider and bill the citizens, much like it does with water and sewer bills now.
The board has not made a decision on the issue.
Currently, there are six trash companies that customers can choose from. If the city municipalize’s the service, the choice citizens have will be gone.
That had some residents Monday concerned and crying “big government.”
“I think I have the right to choose my trash service,” said resident Joan Santorre.
Another resident said: “We don’t want government telling us what do anymore!”
Bradley said the Missouri General Assembly gave cities the right to municipalize services like the trash service.
The citizens gathered a petition with signatures asking for the issue to be placed on a ballot for residents to decide if they want the city to municipalize trash service or keep the status quo.
Citizens cannot do that, said city attorney James Cook.
“The board and the board alone has the authority to make decisions regarding the city,” he said.
Since Grain Valley is a fourth class city, citizens cannot vote on a ordinance. All government decisions must come from the board of aldermen, Cook said.
“The government of this fourth class city is this body, whom you citizens elect,” Cook said. “If you don’t like the way you do their job, then you express your feelings at the polls and you elect your representatives accordingly.”