Correction: An earlier version of this article included an inaccurate time frame for the implementation of the new trash service. We apologize for the error.
Residents will see a new charge on their water bills and a new trash bin at their homes, under a plan adopted Tuesday night by the Hope Town Council.
The council voted 4-1 to approve a town-wide trash service, choosing CGS Services Inc. for the service. The town will take about 90 days to finalize the details of the agreement.
CGS was the lowest bidder when the town sought prices from four companies in May. The trash bill will be $7.55 for the first year, with an administrative fee of $1 added by the town for handling the billing. Every town resident will be assigned at least one trash bin.
Council members said that they were in favor of the town-wide service as a further means to improve the cleanliness.
Previously, council members said they wanted to see how a new ordinance worked that mandated residents remove trash and debris from their properties. Town Manager J.T. Doane said that ordinance aimed has generated 49 letters demanding cleanup with only two residents refusing to clean up their trash. Those two cases have been referred to the town's attorney to process the $25 a day fines.
Council President Clyde Compton said that the trash fee was a bargain -- less than what many residents are already paying and less than the gas it would take to drive trash to Columbus for disposal.
Councilwoman Nellie Meek was the only member to vote against the proposal. She said that many residents do not want such a service to be mandated from above. Further, many of the elderly residents do not have enough trash to make the cost worth it.
Further, Meek said that she was concerned that the town had not gotten enough public input. She said that after a public meeting at Hauser High School earlier this year, residents were promised a second meeting before a decision was made.
In other business:
Work repainting the water tower is expected to begin by Sept. 15th.
A final report on the needs for a new Town Hall was presented. The estimated cost is $2 to $2.5 million. Trena Carter, the town's grant adviser with ARA, said that the USDA is warning communities not to expect grant funding for such projects in the near future.
The downtown revitalization plan has been preliminary approved by the state, according to Susan Thayer-Fye, executive director of Hope's Main Street organization.
The council turned down several ideas for the next Hope Farmer's Market presented by Clerk-Treasurer Diane Burton. Specifically, the council did not want to hold a baby pig giveaway, or allow a petting farm on the Town Square.
Approved the use of the Town Square for Goodies, Goblins and Ghost Stories presented by the Hope Branch of the Bartholomew County Public Library and librarian Dave Miller. That will be held for the second year on the square on Oct. 28th from 5 to 8 p.m. Miller sought approval for hay rides and a campfire to roast s'mores, both of which were approved.
Approved the annexation of the second half of the right-of-way on County Road 775E behind Hauser High School. Half of the road is already in the town.