City officials have had little comment on their decision last month to cancel the annual Centerville spring cleanup, according to City Administrator David Hales.
But that may change when the cancellation announcement becomes more widespread with the upcoming publication of the city's quarterly newsletter, Hales said.The council in January voted to make the cleanup a pay-as-you-go service through the city, with homeowners paying a fee to have excess trash, old appliances and other debris hauled away that is not normally collected by the city's garbage pickup service.
The city planned to use the fees to hire an outside contractor to conduct the cleanup, freeing city trucks and public works crews for much-needed work on the streets.
Public works director Randy Randall estimated the cleanup last year cost the city $26,600 in manpower and equipment costs, not counting time lost on other pressing city problems.
The initial plan was to charge residents $58 per dump truck load of trash, $29 for a half load, and $15 for any three items, such as appliances, trash bags or boxes.
Hales said further discussion by the council revealed some flaws in that plan, especially in estimating the amount of space a homeowner's trash would take up, assessing and collecting the fee and generally administering the cleanup.
As an alternative, Hales said the city considered installing large construction-type dumpsters at a central point in the city, then allowing residents to bring their trash there, also for a fee.
But that would require a city worker to monitor the site, the council agreed, plus could generate blowing trash and other problems. So, the city on Feb. 7 voted to discontinue the spring cleanup instead.
"The cost to the city was a factor, but we also decided that with the city's regulations on trash pickup in effect now, people could basically get rid of just about everything they need to in the normal weekly pickups," Hales said.
"So far, we haven't really had any negative reaction," councilman Michael Barton said. "In fact, some of the people I've talked to were relieved. They thought it was a pain."
In his report to the council on last year's cleanup, Randall said the cleanup required 960 man-hours by the public works crew, for $10,560, with the remainder in equipment costs.
City trucks had to wait in line at the county burn plant in Layton as long as an hour and 10 minutes to dump their loads, Randall said, with the average wait at 25 minutes.
That allowed only four round trips per truck per day, he said, at 32 miles per trip.
"The burn plant would not take tires with steel belts, beds, sofas, logs bigger than eight inches in diameter, cement or steel," Randall reported.
"We had some yards that we picked up as much junk as five dump truck loads. Kinds of stuff hauled off: rocks, cement, stumps, weeds, beds, sofas, water heaters, stoves, fridges, tree limbs and car parts.
"We had junk dealers that came around trying to get the steel to make money," according to Randall.