Record Herald Writer
Courtesy of the Record Herald; Printed 4.28.13

WEST MILTON – One of West Milton municipal staff’s goals is a spick-and-span clean town, and the city hopes to make it happen.

For the past several months, Municipal Manager Matt Kline has noticed a reoccurring issue in the village. Garbage and trash is placed out by the curb by a property owner and it doesn’t get picked up.

The city’s garbage collector is Waste Management. Kline discoverd the reason that this trash is not being picked up is because the residents are not paying their bill to the waste and environmental services company.

As a result, Kline and Fiscal Officer Jill Grise have met with Waste Management to make their concerns known about the current garbage billing system.

Currently, the village is in the middle of a five year contract with the organization. Their agreement states that its language can be adjusted and renegotiated between the two parties.

This led Kline to express interest in having the village take over the billing and ask if they could do this, would there be a lowered adjustment in the cost per customer.
Waste Management came back with a proposal, which ended up not being satisfactory. Kline has asked for another, which will likely be completed in a couple weeks.

“The first proposal didn’t really do anything for us, and it didn’t lower the rate for us substantially,” Kline said.

The offer featured a bill reduction of 25 cents for each customer every month.
Kline doesn’t have a problem with taking over the billing, but he said that his main concern lies with the residents in West Milton.

According to Kline, Waste Management’s computers are picking up about 1,439 customers in the area while West Milton’s records show that there are around 1,700 residential water customers.

“There are 260 homes doing something, but they are not paying their garbage bill,” Kline said.

For such a service to be provided, a payment has to be made, and the idea may be more appealing to residents if the individual price is reduced.

“If, in my opinion, it’s worth taking to council, I will,” Kline said. “If it’s not, I won’t and will allow the contract to run its course.”

Miami County Foundation (MCF) is giving the city via the West Milton Fire Department $7,200 of grant money to replace its hydraulic rescue cutters. West Milton Fire Department Captain Ben Herron said cutters are tools used by emergency workers in removing crash victims from damaged vehicles.

He called the grant a “very generous amount” from the catalyst. According to Herron, MCF had received 80 demands and was able to meet $200,000 of the $336,000 requested. If the manager and council approve, Herron would like to utilize the money that will be saved by the grant to start replacing the fire department’s old radios.

The replacements will be a 3-year project, starting with the radios in the worse condition.

“I would like to really stress our appreciation to the Miami County Foundation to lessen the burden on the fire department budget and make it possible to purchase additional radios, which are our lifetime of communications,” Herron said.