Monday, July 16, 2007

Middletown Council Meets - Trash Details

Not in attendance was Prez Paul Roderigues due to the recent birth of his first child, Samuel Paul with girlfriend Mary Dyl. Barbara Barrows was also not there. Shirley Mello served as Chair. She congratulated the Prez & stated that he was not there due to his "being tired." Tired, say what? Giving birth is exhausting (that's why it's called "labor"). Being a new Dad - piece of cake. Congratulations & best wishes all around.

Another important note. In a previous Council recap "Mother"Theresa Santos mentioned how she did not like to pay her taxes & health insurance costs, but always did and on time. There were loud comments from members of the audience that she had little health care costs due to Soc. Security & Medicare. She made it a point to show me her Raytheon Health insurance card. So let it be known that councilwoman Theresa Santos PAYS for her health insurance.

The crowd tonight was SRO. This was due to the presence of the Viking Raiders. This is a local motorcycle group who is quite active in our community. I know them from their active participation with the Newport Lions & the annual Soap Box Derby. Tonight there were presenting to the town a framed American flag. This flag was originally on the U.S.S. Saratoga during the Vietnam War and more recently it has been used in Iraq. Tom Ney & his bikers lent it to the town for one year for public display.

Most of the discussion tonight centered around how the new trash system will work. Every household (under 4 units) will receive 3 large 64 gall. rollings bins - one for trash, one for glass & cans, another for paper. Smaller ones will be available for the asking. You will fill the first with purchased trash bags (32 gall.) for appx. $2.50 from local grocery stores.

Trash will be removed every week. Recyclables with be picked up on alternating weeks - one for paper, another for glass/cans. Do you have to recycle? No. The cans will be picked up curbside & returned there. For those who are handicapped, special arra gements can be made. There will be more info coming on this & bulk removal also.

The dump will remain open for a time after the stickers expire, but you must use the purchased bags for trash. The dump's actual closing will be sometime in the fall, no later than Nov. 1.

There was some discussion by various members of the audience as to why the program couldn't be more like Newport's & just included in the tax rate. For homes valued at $350,000 the added tax would have been slightly less than $160. Of course for homes with a much higher evaluation, the cost for trash removal would be much higher (45 cents on the thousand). In Newport recycling is not madatory & receives no incentive. But then no purchased bags are required either. To privately employ trash haulers costs appx $360/yr. This program is estimated to cost $200/yr. This is figuring in savings from recycling.

In speaking with the red-haired Dugan Bros. (management of Waste Management), they mentioned the same program had just been initiated in Woonsocket. It went off without a hitch with only 10 complaints. I suppose I'll have to be offering my own incentive to children to seperate trash.

The Chair of the Economic Advisoy Committee, Robert Silva, spoke (I am also a member). Our initial professional study by the Mayforth Group on the current status of the town with plans for improving our status is ready. We asked the Council for a special meeting wherein this plan would be presented. It has some wonderful ideas for advancing the town and promotes the employment of a paid position to take the forefront of this plan. There are also plans to apply for various grants to advance our economic position. The date for this will follow along with more info.

Congrats to tech director Matt Wainwright who rec'd a commendation. He's done a lot of work forming a chapter of Government Management Info. Sci. How a tech nerd has such a good tan escapes me.

The Council was very well-behaved tonight, but it was most difficult to hear. The Chair has a most pleasant voice and kept her comments to a minimum (thank you). She still seems to have some difficulty with procedure. I left at 9 p.m. with the meeting still going on. I do have a life. But anything I missed will be avaible in the "Daily News" & Projo tomorrow along with the Middletown newsletter.
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