2010-03-27 / Editorials & Letters

Trustees can save us money

These are tough times for many of us. Some of us have lost jobs; others have lost houses, overtime, benefits etc.; and everybody’s investments – like your home – have taken a hit. Our sluggish national recovery may stall before it even reaches Ohio. So every dollar counts.

A news story last week reports that Union Township – after years of procrastination – may finally be moving ahead on creating a residential refuse district. This writer suggested such a district four years ago in his first race for trustee and in each subsequent election. And it wasn’t a particularly new or radical idea four years ago.

Creating a township residential refuse collection district will save residents and township taxpayers money, while improving safety on rural roads. It’s a win for everybody except Waste Management. A waste district will take two to three heavy garbage trucks off township roads weekly, reducing wear and tear on our roads. Removing several large trucks from our narrow roads also reduces the chance of slamming into one in the fog or dim early morning light.

Most residents living outside area villages subscribe with Waste Management for a bin and weekly refuse pickup. Four years ago most of us were paying about $18 a month for that service. Last year it reached nearly $25 a month and now it’s nearly $27 a month. No matter whether fuel prices are up or down, refuse collection bills seem go in one direction – UP!

Another news story last week adds insult to injury. The Village of Millersport recently rebid its two-year waste collection contract and will get two more years at the same price. That’s four years at $13.90 per month with a hauler-provided container – almost half what Waste Management is charging us individually. Millersport also asked for a discount for Walnut Township Schools and got 50 percent. Waste didn’t get the bid, but was close at $15.14 per month with a container and an eight percent discount for the schools.

Granville Township residents, whose trustees actually got the job done last year, are paying just $12.95 per month. It’s obvious township residential refuse districts will save households $120 - $170 each every year. Those are real dollars that families will have to spend on dozens of necessities, possibly using them to pay for new levies to support parks, libraries, vocational education or their local schools.

The only thing standing between thousands of dollars of savings for their residents are procrastinating or inattentive trustees. Some attribute their inaction to concerns of some residents about losing their freedom of choice. While there may be a few curmudgeons out there willing to fight over Waste Management “green” versus Big O “blue,” it is basically an issue of the color of your bin and the truck that empties it weekly. It is not your health care or even hair care. Service will be as good or better since you’ll have the clout of the entire township behind you on complaints.

Our trustees are well-compensated – $8,000 to $11,000 per year with gold-plated health insurance. Not everyone takes the insurance, but the vast majority do. We’re paying those salaries and health benefits. Now it is time for trustees to pay us back. Call your trustees and ask why they aren’t saving you at least $10 a month on your trash collection bill.

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