VIDEO: Council Postpones Garbage Can Ordinance for Third Month
By Brandi Makuski
The Stevens Point City Council has postponed voting on changes to the city’s garbage can ordinance proposal by Councilwoman Cindy Nebel.
The changes, first proposed in October, included additional restrictions for where residents can store their trash and recycling bins.
Under the existing ordinance, bins should be stored behind the front part of a home, such as next to a porch or staircase.
Nebel’s proposal would prohibit storage: between a public right-of-way and the front of a building that faces the street (unless the right-of-way is an alley); within 15 feet of a public right-of-way unless it’s trash pickup day; or on, under or alongside a front porch, stoop, landing, access ramp or deck facing the street.
Smaller and corner lots, where residents had no choice but to store their bins in the prohibited areas, would be required to be hidden by some type of city-approved screening, such as shrubs, trees or fencing.
The new ordinance is more restrictive, according to the Mark Kordus, the city’s ordinance officer, and would include storage areas currently allowed under existing rules. Kordus, who was hired in February, is already spearheading a complete rewrite of the city’s ordinances, based in part on a public survey regarding existing property maintenance codes.
“This would have been addressed in the [ordinance] rewrite after the first of the year anyway,” Kordus said of Nebel’s proposal. “I’m not sure why this was so important it had to be fast-tracked.”
The changes were slated for a vote on Nov. 20, but Nebel requested it be postponed until December. It’s the second time she’s requested a postponement to allow for language changes to be drafted.
“Because of all the misinformation that has been in the media, it’s grown to be a huge problem,” Nebel said at Monday’s Common Council meeting. “I feel like if we voted now, that people have been tainted in their views to something that was totally not supposed to be happening here.
Alderman Jeremy Slowinski alone voted against the postponement, saying the issue should be voted on immediately.
Nebel said she’s been contact with Community Development Director Michael Ostrowski, and she may have found a better compromise regarding bins in front of duplexes.
The new changes will be presented during the next Public Protection Committee meeting on Dec. 11.