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 Carthage Council Hosting Public Hearing on Trash Rates

June 11, 2008 - The Carthage Town Council will hold a public hearing June 23 to get citizen feedback on the council's plans for a 68-percent increase in what town residents and businesses pay for trash collection services.

The council introduced a new ordinance at its regular monthly meeting last Wednesday that will, if adopted, increase customer trash hauling rates from $6.50 to $9.51 a month. Then, after a year, rates will go to $9.78 a month, rising to $10.07 in July 2010.

At its May 22 meeting, the council accepted a bid for a three-year contract with Best Way Disposal (Greensburg), the company that currently provides trash hauling services for the town. For the first year, Best Way will charge the town $8.46 a month per residential customer, with that rate increasing to $8.71 the second year and $8.97 the third.

Under the terms of the ordinance introduced last week, the town would add a 10-percent fuel surcharge to the monthly rates Best Way charges the town to cover fuel costs assessed by Best Way. On top of the fuel surcharge, another 20 cents would be added to cover some of the town's administrative costs, resulting in the $9.51, $9.78 and $10.07 rates.

The town council is expected to vote on the new ordinance setting the higher trash hauling rates following the June 23 public hearing, which will held at 5:30 p.m. at Carthage Town Hall, 6 W. First St. If approved, the ordinance and its new, higher rates will take effect July 1.

In other business last week, the council voted 4-0 to appoint Carthage resident Jack Taylor to fill the vacancy created when the council's fifth member, Mike Onkst, resigned last month. This was the second appointment to this position for Taylor in just over two weeks.

Taylor was first appointed to replace Onkst on May 20, and was actually given the oath of office and participated in the council's May 22 meeting. That appointment, however - made by the Rush County Republican Party chairman - was, according to the Indiana Election Division, not timely because it was made more than 30 days after Onkst stepped down.

Because the party chairman's appointment was not made within 30 days, Indiana statute shifted the responsibility for selecting Onkst's replacement to the remaining four council members. Satisfied with the party chairman's choice of replacement, the council voted unanimously to appoint Taylor, and he took the oath of office for a second time.

Walnut Friends Church was given the council's permission to use McNabb Park for its summer soccer camp. The camp will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. July 7-9. The council also agreed to get a quote on the cost of having a tree at 109 S. Main St. taken down. The tree will be removed at town expense because it is on town property, which, according to Council Vice President Wanda Henderson, extends from the middle of the street 40 feet in each direction.

Council President Rick Bush was approved by the council 4-0 to return to service as an unpaid reserve officer for the town police department. According to meeting minutes, Bush, a former Carthage deputy, said he would not take the position if the other council members thought it was a conflict, and he abstained from the vote.


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