By: Timothy Kays
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
Flooding issues and the upcoming transition to Archbold Refuse Service (ARS) were the major points of discussion during the September 12 meeting of the Montpelier Village Council.
Peggy Rupp addresses Council about the requested purchase of lots on Henry Street. Council President Dan Clum said that after the last meeting, Council had agreed that three of the six lots needed to be retained, and said that it would be up to the Rupps if the remaining three lots would be satisfactory. Ms. Rupp replied that they had discussed the matter, and that the three remaining lots would be acceptable. Mr. Clum said that Council would take up the request, and report as to their decision.
Sarah Ferguson and Lana Hill, citizens residing on the 500 block of Jonesville Street, addressed Council about property and basement flooding every time there is a substantial rainfall. After inquiring into the matter, it was discovered that an adjacent concrete parking lot was dumping runoff rainwater onto their properties, and their properties were lower in elevation, allowing for ponding of water on their properties. In turn, the water floods their basements, in one case causing the need for the replacement of a furnace, and in another, promoting the growth of black mold. Councilor Chris Kannel suggested they get some fill dirt from a reliable contractor who can properly place the fill to direct the rainwater away from their homes.
In the issue pertaining to trash pickup, Village Manager Kevin Brooks reported that what had been planned as a smooth transition to ARS from village-operated trash collections, has been anything but smooth. “We’re going to see a lot of progress in the next two weeks,” he said, “…but as Council is aware, we’ve had a lot of problems.
Residents have been argumentative. Residents have threatened to burn containers, throw them in the river and damage them. ARS has been forced to take a different approach because, quite honestly, they have never been faced with the kind of blowback that they are getting. We’ve stood our ground, and this week, I think that the tone has changed significantly. ARS is now registering customers without argument, and without threats. They’ve had a very difficult chase in the past two weeks.”
Brooks went on to say that the trouble seems to be coming from less than ten percent of the residents. “The problem arose when residents threatened to damage their property. ARS became uncomfortable delivering containers to residents that had not paid their bill. That’s where we allowed them a little space, because none of us have ever experienced it before where threats have been made against their personnel if they came onto their property. We had to take a different approach while this nonsense was going on, and quite frankly, there are some individuals who should be embarrassed because they are not giving a positive perception of Montpelier to ARS.
“What people don’t realize,” Brooks said, “is that on January 1, we would have had to substantially raise trash rates to stay above water. We were looking at double, or even triple the cost. Our residents would have had a real problem with a $20 to $30 garbage collection bill By outsourcing this, we are able to keep that cost down.” ARS trash pickup rates are $11.20 per month, and $10.50 for seniors 65 and older. Residents with verifiable disabilities may request special pickup service for an additional fee.
What of those who have a surplus village trash bags? Brooks announced that the village, with stipulations, will buy back unused trash bags. The stipulation states that in order to qualify, residents must have a minimum of 26 consecutive bags, or a minimum of $30, to sell back to the village.
Large bulk items will be picked up at the end of each month, with a village-wide bulk pickup on the docket for October. “On the October bill from the village, there will be no recycling charge,” said Montpelier Director of Finance, Kelly Hephner, referencing the recycling switchover to ARS. “We bill behind. The village will be picking up the recycling bins on the 15th, and that’s because we bill behind, and ARS bills ahead. There will be a two-week gap. We will pick up the bins on September 15, then stop.
ARS will then take over on the week of October 3.”
The September 26 regular session of Council will be canceled as members will be at the AMP Ohio statewide meeting in Columbus.
Timothy Kays can be reached at