- Grove City, Pennsylvania

Local News

July 3, 2014

Rock trash talk touches on billing, BigBelly

SLIPPERY ROCK — Slippery Rock council members are still working through a number of garbage-related issues, including a detailed revision of the solid waste ordinance and a proposal to bring solar-powered trash compactors to the borough.

Tuesday's council meeting lasted for about two hours and 45 minutes, with the bulk of the discussion focused on the solid waste ordinance and how it should be updated.

They've been reviewing the ordinance for the past few months for potential changes, and council member Itzi Meztli addressed how the billing is handled for trash collection; the Slippery Rock Municipal Authority currently does the billing as per an agreement with the borough.

"To me it doesn't make fiscal sense," he said.

There's only one more year left on the garbage contract the borough has with Tri-County Industries Inc., so council can consider asking the trash hauler on the next contract to take over the billing, said Neva Stanger, the borough's solicitor.

"You guys can decide that," she said.

Meztli said he wonders if the municipal authority still wants to do the billing.

He also suggested having two bulk trash pickup dates in the spring instead of one, starting in 2016, plus one fall date.

The exact dates don't need to be in the solid waste ordinance or the new contract - they can be determined later - but the ordinance should list "spring" and "fall," Stanger said, adding that council will still have to be mindful of the trash hauler's schedule.

The borough of Slippery Rock won't be the garbage company's only customer, and the bid specifications need to be transparent and specific, she said.

Council also decided that properties known as "multi-family housing," which have three or more units, should remain defined as "residential" instead of "commercial."

They're also proposing an ordinance revision that says there is to be no trash collection service on Sundays, and council member Regina Greenwald said she and several Slippery Rock organizations are working on a recycling education program for residents and business owners that will be ready in the fall.

Greenwald updated council on the BigBelly trash compactors. Slippery Rock in Bloom is raising money for the solar-powered units and would like to have them installed in Gateway Park and Memorial Park, and each unit would have receptacle for trash and one for recycling.

The total cost is expected to be about $9,000 and SRIB will need council's permission since they would be placed on borough property.

SRIB will cover the maintenance costs for three years, after which the borough would take over, Greenwald said. Annual costs for upkeep and software runs about $1,200.

Grants are available to help with the purchase, and Tri-County has agreed to remotely monitor and empty the BigBellys, which are equipped with a device that sends a signal when they are full, she said.

The units can also display ads from local businesses, which is another option to help cover the costs. Council will discuss the issue further in July.

In other business at Tuesday's meeting, council members:

■ Heard from council member Bob Bowser that there's a drainage problem in Slippery Rock Community Park at the playground next to the main parking lot. The park manager is getting quotes for repairs and the work will be paid for out of the park's budget.

■ Heard from council President Dave Miller that he and borough administrator Lucinda Lipko have started working on the 2015 budget and that other council members can provide input. He expects further discussion at a council meeting in August or September.

■ Heard from Meztli that he found a company to maintain the borough's website for $2,179 for the first year, and $114.95 a month after that.

The other option is to work with Stephen Larson, a computer science professor at Slippery Rock University, who has said he and his students would be interested in conducting an analysis and design project of the borough that would include help with the website.

It would be a class project for the fall semester and Lipko and her part-time administrative assistant will be trained by Larson and his students on how to maintain the website, Meztli said.

Council members said they prefer that idea instead of paying for an outside company to run the website, and they expect to hold a vote at their July 1 meeting.

■ Discussed paving for Maltby Avenue, which is expected to cost about $57,000. They still need to decide how they would pay for the project since the borough needs a new dump truck and the salt shed needs a new roof.

Four handicap accessible ramps on Maltby needs replaced, and one of them is on Slippery Rock University property; they will see if SRU can help with the cost. They plan to vote July 1.

Published June 21, 2014, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.

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