By Andra Bryan Stefanoni
PITTSBURG, Kan. —
The Pittsburg Solid Waste Task Force, which has 90 days in which to discuss options related to the way trash service operates in the city limits, will meet for the first time at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
The meeting will be at the Beard-Shanks Law Enforcement Center, 201 N. Pine St. It will be open to the public and televised on the city-operated Channel 6.
The trash issue has been a contentious one in Pittsburg, with an estimated 200 residents showing up for a public hearing on the matter on Nov. 13. At times, the session grew heated and emotional. Ultimately, the City Commission approved a resolution with which most in attendance disagreed, putting into place the task force.
According to City Manager Daron Hall, the impetus behind considering options was that 30 percent of the city’s residents do not subscribe to a trash service. Hall is in favor of considering making trash service a part of a monthly residential utility bill.
A list of goals to be considered includes ensuring that every residence has trash service; reducing wear and tear on streets caused by multiple haulers operating in the same areas; considering uniform trash carts; establishing a uniform solid waste disposal fee and billing system; and determining whether the city should collect a franchise fee for administering such a system.
The agenda also includes a discussion of task force procedures that will govern the Wednesday meeting and all future meetings, a review of goals, and a discussion of future agenda items and meeting times and dates.
The meeting is slated to last about an hour and 40 minutes.
The task force is being co-chaired by Blake Benson, president of the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce, and Monica Murnan, who until this year was the director of the Family Resource Center and now is employed by the Southeast Kansas Education Service Center at Greenbush.
Members are Nathan Beaman, representing Beaman Refuse Removal; Bill Beasley, city director of public works; Chuck Carr, representing WCA Waste Corp.; Gerry Dennett, a local builder; Hall, the city manager; John Lair, a former mayor; Merle Lloyd, representing Lloyd’s Loads; Charlie Maransani, representing Short’s Trash Service; Mark Mehall, representing SEK Recycling; Dennis Meier, representing the Crawford County Solid Waste Committee; Henry Menghini, city attorney; Shawn Naccarato, director of government and community relations at Pittsburg State University; Chris Norris, representing Norris Trash Service; Matt Sander, representing Oak Grove Landfill; and Jim Triplett, a biology professor at PSU who was instrumental in forming the Southeast Kansas Recycling Center and was appointed by Gov. Sam Brownback to the Kansas Solid Waste Grants Advisory Committee earlier this fall.
AFTER AN INTRODUCTION of committee members at Wednesday’s meeting, 10 minutes will be allowed for public input and 20 minutes for a discussion of background information related to the trash service issue.