Grove City is looking to crack down on residents for unpaid garbage fees.
On Monday, Nov. 5, City Council held its first public reading of an ordinance to amend the city code, giving officials what they said would be a stronger "mechanism" of enforcement.
The second reading and vote is scheduled for the council's Nov. 19 meeting.
Under current city code, all residential households are required to utilize Local Waste Services LLC for collection, and Local Waste may suspend trash pickup if an account remains unpaid for longer than 45 days. The city is then required at additional cost to "make arrangements to have the nuisance situation ... remedied."
Under the proposed language of the ordinance, the city's public service director will be able to determine if the uncollected garbage on a particular property poses a hazard and nuisance and have the authority to have it removed. The incurred expenses will be appropriated by City Council, and if the expenses remain unpaid by the owner, a lien will be placed on the owner's other taxes and assessments.
"This should eliminate a lot of the delay," said city law director Stephen Smith in the pre-meeting caucus. "That's the goal ... We just want the trash resolved."
Smith said the changes give the city the mechanism to go in, get trash picked up and bill for it later.
"This clarifies it," he said.
The proposed ordinance also requires the private trash hauler to serve the property owner with a "notice of discontinuation of service" and provide a copy to the city. In addition, the ordinance notes trash containers should not be taken to the curb before 5 p.m. the day prior to collection.
In other news, council voted 4-0 to appropriate $50,000 from the convention bureau fund for current expenses. Council President Ted Berry was absent. Councilman Steve Bennett acted as temporary chairman for the meeting.
"This appropriation is due to the higher than expected hotel tax revenue," said city finance director Mike Turner.
Council also voted approved as emergency legislation an appropriation of $194,268 from the general fund toward the resurfacing a portion of state Route 62. This was part of a previously agreed-upon arrangement with the Ohio Department of Transportation involving the repaving of state Route 62 from the Pickaway/Franklin county line north to the Columbus corporation limit north of Interstate 270. ODOT is performing the project's construction.
City Administrator Chuck Boso said the project is scheduled to begin in spring 2013.