by Alan McArthur
Platte City's new trash ordinance was approved on Monday night with a vote of four in favor and two abstaining.
The new ordinance outlines the guidelines for commercial trash haulers wanting to serve Platte City area commercial property owners who have dumpsters.
New guidelines include the requirement that commercial businesses in the city limits provide proof they have a contract with a waste hauler.
Companies wanting to offer hauling services in Platte City must also apply for one of six permits issued per year. The permit requires the hauler have insurance of no less than $300,000 per claim and $2 million for personal injury and property damage.
Haulers will also have to pay a fee of $50 for the first truck used in the city limits and another $25 for each additional vehicle.
During discussion by the aldermen on the new ordinance, the mayor provided his thoughts on the issue.
“I did a survey of my own, as I'm sure you all did,” said Dave Brooks. “The people asked why they were not asked about the issue. Both people I talked to made statements that they don't believe they'll get the same service. I still think you should have done a survey.”
“In all fairness, there are a few folks out there who are happy about this,” said Aaron Jung, board president. “I know I've talked to six or seven businesses who are tickled to death about the change. In a time when money's tight, people are trying to save where they can.”
“I can't imagine a business would complain about a reduction in rates,” said Andy Stanton, alderman. “The only complaints I've heard is the city is requiring a building permit to change the dumpster sites. It is moves like this that make you all unpopular.”
Stanton mentioned some businesses may need to redo their dumpster corral in order to accommodate the commercial trash hauler's trucks. Changes to dumpster corrals require a building permit.
“If a business modifies a corral, they have to have a building permit,” said Keith Moody, city administrator.
“I think the board should consider waiving fees for building permits,” said Stanton.
Stanton continued that it would make it easier for businesses to transition to the private hauling companies.
“I haven't seen an application for a building permit yet,” said Moody. “I was contacted by four companies who run the same style service as Platte City. A business can most certainly get a quote from one.”
Moody explained that Platte City requires newer businesses to keep their dumpsters in enclosures.
“The city requires an enclosure,” said Moody. “We don't mandate the size, and some businesses may have to expand the size of their enclosure. It provides for an unsightly situation with the dumpster in the parking lot.”
Brooks reiterated that business owners were unhappy with the trash changes.
“One business said to me they are not happy, because they were not consulted and they're not going to get the same service,” said Brooks.
“Who was that, Bunny Foster perhaps?” asked Stanton.
“Absolutely not,” said Brooks. “Absolutely not.”
The mayor then asked the board to consider extending the deadline for Platte City to discontinue commercial trash services. The current deadline for ending trash service provided by Platte City is Sunday, April 27.
“Can't they still stay with us temporarily?” asked Stanton.
Moody said a business can continue to use the Platte City commercial dumpster service past the April deadline if they can show a hardship in finding a provider.
“There needs to be a hard deadline sometime,” said Ken Brown, alderman. “We're not talking a major hardship to get quotes from four vendors in 20 minutes.”
“I'd like you to consider giving everyone a couple more weeks,” said Brooks.
“In all fairness, if people need additional time they can contact Keith,” said Jung.
Some aldermen stated that some commercial trash haulers had already contacted them.
“I had a gentleman contact me from Parkville and said he'd love to expand service to Platte City,” said Jung.
“Every business is in business to make deals, it's what they do, they deal with other vendors all the time. It's not rocket science,” said Brown.
“The thing I'm concerned with is the quality of service,” said Ron Stone, alderman. “Other Casey's stores have had to take trash providers to court because of the quality of service.”
The mayor again asked the aldermen to push the date back.
“Why not pick a date in May?” asked Brooks.
“We need to leave the date the same as the end of April,” said Brown. “But if a business needs more time they can contact city hall.”
“Todd, we haven't heard from you or Marsha,” said Brooks to aldermen Todd Sloan and Marsha Clark.
“I'm just listening,” said Marsha Clark, alderman.
The board then moved forward and voted on the new ordinance with Brown, Jung, Stanton, and Todd Sloan voting in favor. Aldermen Stone and Clark abstained.
When asked by The Landmark why they abstained, Clark and Stone responded:
“I abstained because this is getting too confusing,” said Clark. “It has gone by fast and I think we needed to research this more. We should have discussed it more.”
“I was not ready yet,” said Stone. “It was not the right decision right now.”
The board voted to privatize the commercial dumpster service on Feb. 26 after hearing from several business and property owners at past meetings.
The board again voted to privatize the commercial dumpster service on March 11. The second vote was required after Brooks vetoed the resolution the Thursday before.