Barre trash ordinance complaints resurfaceOctober 10,2012
By David Delcore
BARRE — A proposed trash ordinance has turned into a weekly game of “Whack-A-Mole” for a City Council that this week saw another objection pop up, prompting a majority to tweak the language again and forcing yet another public hearing on the measure.
This time councilors heard from a local businessman who complained that a newly inserted provision of the ordinance would require him to empty the Dumpsters outside his Smith Street sporting goods store once a week instead of twice a month.
Cedric Sanborn, owner of R&L Archery, told councilors he couldn’t see any good reason for extending that regulation to all Barre businesses — particularly those, like his, that are in industrially zoned areas.
Sanborn told councilors he isn’t concerned about convenience but is concerned about costs, and his would climb if the ordinance that was on the table Tuesday night was adopted as proposed.
“I’m going to have a 15 percent increase in my rubbish removal (bill),” said Sanborn, who noted his Dumpsters never overflow and aren’t the source of the sort of noxious odors that prompted the council last week to insert the weekly pickup requirement for everyone except those who live in single-family homes.
At the time, City Clerk Carol Dawes suggested that modification was significant and probably warranted what would have been the fourth first reading of the ordinance since it was first introduced in June. Councilors ignored Dawes’ advice, made the change and scheduled the second — and potentially final — public hearing Tuesday night.
It would have been the final hearing if Councilor Michael Boutin had his way.
Boutin, who wrote the ordinance and has rewritten it several times — first to address concerns raised by landlords and later to accommodate council members — tried unsuccessfully to get the council to adopt an amended version that essentially restored the exception that was stripped out last week. That exception would have exempted properties — like Sanborn’s business — that are “clearly not located in residential areas” from the weekly pickup requirement.
However, while councilors approved Boutin’s amendment, Mayor Thomas Lauzon ruled his motion to simply pass the altered ordinance out of order because of the change.
Lauzon said he let last week’s amended ordinance advance because he knew there would still be an opportunity for public input. He said that would not be the case if the revised ordinance were adopted and agreed with Councilor Paul Poirier that another hearing was required.
For the complete story, see Thursday's Times Argus.
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