Large item pick up in St. Paul discussed.
At Monday’s Council Meeting, the Town of St. Paul Council discussed the option of having a free large item pick up day in the community, after the County of St. Paul suggested the Town follow suit with their program; which is offered over two days in the spring. Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the County of St. Paul, Sheila Kitz presented Town Council with the County’s program and its success.
For the County of St. Paul, the program is free for the two-week period. The County allows drop off of large items at the transfer station for free during that time period. This is intended to encourage people to clean up their property.
The Town was reluctant to get involved in such a program, Mayor Glenn Andersen’s concerns with the program was people may abuse it, “if that was me and I’m purging my house, why would I take it out [to the transfer station] if the Town is going to come and pick it up.”
Whereas other Councillors, Ken Kwiatkowski and Judy Bognan believed the program would be of great benefit to the community and people would not abuse it.
Councillor Kwiatkowski cited the Town’s program to assist persons with disabilities; such as himself. “Right now, I have a disability, so the grass I cut can be picked up by the Town. But I’m capable of doing it myself, so I do. I know a lot of people are not going to take advantage of this. There’s always the one-off, and so be it, but at the end of the day I think the people that need it are the ones that are asking. If we say no to them, where are they going to go?”
Councillor Bognan felt the same, “it’s not only the elderly [that need this program]. Speaking from personal, not having any man power or a truck to haul, I’d gladly pay for someone to pick it up and take it to the appropriate place. It does become an eye sore in the back alleys.” Bognan suggested that if the Town did not want to go with a free program, maybe a cost-recovery program can be instated; with regular pick ups.
Councillor Norm Noel said he has had residence ask about the program, “We did something like this years ago and they were wondering why we don’t do it anymore.” The program the resident was referring to has been in effect for a few decades. “They’re concern is with the elderly [and people without means], to clean up the town. Those larger items, mattresses, appliances [etc].”
Another concern for Mayor Andersen was the cost and the manpower, does the Town have it in it’s budget to pay Public Works employees to carry out the program and if so, is there enough manpower and trucks to successfully carry out the program over two days?
Councillors Bognan and Noel will research the program further to ensure it is possible for the Town to carry it out. The Councillors have been tasked with determining some criteria for the program, along with its feasibility. Criteria may include age and ability of the resident requesting pick up. Once more information is gathered, a request for decision on the program will be presented at a Town Council meeting.
The Town did decided to allow for the same two-week grace period for large item drop off at the transfer station. For two-weeks residents will be able to drop off large items at the transfer station free of charge. Regularly there is a $20 fee to dispose of the freon from fridges and deep freezes.