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Explanation of Water Rates Garbage Initiative

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Garbage Initiative

A recent meeting regarding the upcoming change to the City’s Solid Waste Ordinance (garbage collection service) generated numerous questions that deserve responses. The attached frequently asked questions (FAQ) sheet addresses many of your comments and concerns. However, before we get to the questions, I believe it is necessary for you as residents of Box Elder to understand why the City Council is moving toward this change.

First of all, this is not a new topic. The issue of a single service provider and the need to clean up the community has been a discussion item with the City Council for at least the past 5 years. One regular complaint from residents is the need to cleanup neighborhood properties because junky properties were devaluing surrounding homes. In just the past year a survey was taken of residents who informed City Hall that cleaning up the community and getting rid of junkyards in town as some of the City’s top priorities. Thus, enhancing the health, safety, and community welfare by cleaning up the community plays a large role in the proposed garbage service change.

Secondly, as we are all aware maintenance of the City streets is a very large budget item. Therefore, any efforts that can be undertaken to improve the life of the streets is worthwhile. At the present time with 3 garbage service providers (2 with automated pickup and 1 hand pick up), every street in the City has a garbage truck make 5 trips over it each week. By moving to a single provider this trip count is reduced to 2 per week.

Thirdly, streets are not the only issue. Most streets within the community have buried utilities within them, water and sewer. Due to the nature of the soils in the area the heavy truck loads transfer down to the buried utilities. Granted it is a minor load but over time it takes a toll on the utilities which is quite evident when we consider the number of water leaks that are addressing each year.

You should also be aware this change is not a unique thing with municipalities. Locally, Edgemont, Custer, Hot Springs, Summerset, Wall, and Hermosa all contract for residential garbage service for the same reasons stated above. Rapid City, Sturgis, Spearfish. Lead, Deadwood, and Belle Fourche all have services that limit garbage truck traffic to one pickup per week in residential neighborhoods. On a national basis this same consolidation of services is taking place even in the largest cities such as New York and Los Angles.

For those with concerns about the business to the local service providers, the City is making this change only for single family homes. Mobile home courts, multi-family residential units such as apartment buildings, and commercial business will still have the option of contracting for service with anyone they wish.

The City understands that some residents are concerned about losing their freedom to choose their garbage collection service provider. City Council has repeatedly heard citizens’ and business owners’ complaints of unauthorized use of garbage service. The City Council has determined that moving forward with a single provider is the way to remedy that complaint and improve the City’s health, safety and community welfare.

More information will be coming soon about route schedules and contact information for service questions.

Please take the time to read the attached FAQ sheet which will answer many of your questions. And as always if you have additional questions please feel free to contact City Hall (605-923-1404). If we don’t have the answer immediately we will get it for you.

--Office of the Mayor of Box Elder, SD

Municipal Solid Waste Ordinance - DRAFT

FAQ sheet