CAMDEN — Village Council discussed CARES Act spending, concerns about loose trash, and tax-related issues during its second bi-monthly meeting Thursday, Oct. 15
Council approved a resolution to apply for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds during its Thursday, Aug. 20 meeting. Fiscal Officer Becky Wilson indicated that approximately $61,000 in funds had been allocated to the village.
Council member Debbie Hickman suggested during a subsequent meeting that the village use the funds to make restrooms at Camden Town Hall and the Camden Police Department, as well as the village wastewater treatment plant and maintenance barn, touch-free. This would qualify for CARES Act spending as it reduces contact with high-touch surfaces that are believed to help spread the coronavirus.
Village administrator Rusty Wilson indicated during his bi-monthly report Thursday that equipment to make toilets and faucets in village facilities touch-free had been ordered and would be installed in the coming weeks.
Councilman Kelly Doran brought up concerns about residents not placing lids on overflowing garbage cans during council’s Sept. 3 meeting, resulting in trash being blown out of the cans and having to be cleaned up by village personnel. Similar issues were raised involving recycling bins placed by Rumpke that are frequently left open, allowing trash to blow into a nearby park.
An automated One Call announcement was previously sent out discouraging residents from engaging in these practices, according to Doran, as well as informing them that damaged cans and those without lids can be replaced, without cost to the resident, by contacting Rumpke.
Doran suggested passing an ordinance that would allow residents to be cited for trash-related violations during the September meeting, but some felt such a measure would be difficult to enforce.
It was also suggested that one garbage collector working in the village might be contributing to the problem by “slinging trash around” rather than carefully emptying cans into his truck. Mayor Karen Moss suggested sending letters to both residents and Rumpke in an effort to address the issue before considering legislative action.
Rumpke Regional Manager Noel Moomey spoke to council on Thursday hoping to address some of these concerns.
Moomey indicated he had spoken to the driver in question after receiving complaints, as well as to his direct supervisor. He put the driver’s aggressive handling of trash cans down to an overzealous work ethic.
“He wants to get in, get it done and go home,” Moomey said. “I hope you can appreciate that.”
Moomey also discussed offering individual recycling service to Camden’s residents, but said the small, open bins that are used would likely just add to the problem of loose trash being blown around. Adopting city-wide recycling service would add $3.50 to $4.00 to the average resident’s trash bill, according to Moomey.
Council ultimately voted unanimously to approve a new five-year contract with Rumpke. The village’s current contract expires Dec. 31.
A representative from the Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA), which administers and collects municipal taxes for the Village of Camden, spoke to council to address concerns about residents being hit with penalties for not making estimated tax payments on time.
Local ordinances require residents with an estimated bill of more than $200 – generally those making more than $20,000 per year – to make an estimated payment.
“I always have a penalty with RITA,” Doran said. ”I don’t know of any other agency that’s like that.”
The RITA representative indicated that the village doesn’t have to require the estimated payment; that penalty fees can be abated, but not raised or lowered; and that RITA can offer amnesty to residents who bring their bill up to date by a certain deadline.
Village Council meetings take place the first and third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at Camden Town Hall.
Reach Anthony Baker at 937-683-4057 or on Facebook @mproperenglish