City still ironing out garbage, recycling issues

Council plans to leave pit bull ban in place
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     With major changes taking effect concerning the City of Monticello’s residential garbage and recycling, City Administrator Doug Herman said comments received at City Hall have all been positive.

     “We’ve been fielding a lot of questions, not complaints,” Herman said during the July 2 Monticello City Council meeting. “It’s been a good response.”

     Residential garbage pick up will take place Wednesday, July 11 for those north of First Street. Those residing south of First Street will have their garbage picked up on Friday, July 13. Residential recycling has already taken effect.

     Herman said the one issue has been tenants who reside downtown above some businesses. Some buildings are more suited for carts than others, causing a consistency issue.

     Last week, Herman said he met with a representative from Republic Services (who the city contracted with for sanitation and recycling services) to find a solution for the downtown area. It was discussed possibly placing communal dumpsters for residential garbage and one for recycling in the pocket park parking lot for the downtown apartments. “It would be a common area for everyone,” commented Herman.

     That issue is still being discussed and ironed out.

     Another question arose concerning allowing Republic trucks to travel on asphalt-paved alleyways to pick up garbage/recycling. After some of the alleys were paved, the city passed an ordinance prohibiting heavy truck traffic. Herman asked where the council stood on the topic.

     “Some alleys are not fit to drive trucks on period,” commented Council member Dave Goedken. However, he said some of the homeowners along alleyways find it easier to roll their carts into the alley.

     “We’ll have to see each situation and make a judgment call on what makes the most sense,” added Goedken.

     There are some commercial businesses still utilizing private garbage companies despite the city’s change with Republic for both commercial and residential sanitation services. Herman warned, as of Aug. 1, those businesses would be billed for Republic’s service whether they use it or not.

     Herman said a lot of questions have come to light since the city contracted with Republic that were taken for granted before.

     The council received a letter from three local citizens (Jo Provencher, Sarah Iben, and Whitney Boysen) requesting the council to consider lifting the city’s pit bull ban. If the council chose not to lift the ban, which seemed to be the consensus during the July 2 meeting, the women requested time to address the council at their next meeting.

     “This is a topic people are not afraid to bring up,” said Herman. “I haven’t run into anyone seeking a change (in the ordinance).”

     Council member Tom Yeoman said anytime he’s interacting with a group of people, he brings the topic up for discussion. He said the unanimous public vote is to keep the ban in place, with the exception of one person who didn’t seem to have an opinion in the matter.

     “The public would like us to leave the code as it stands,” commented Goedken. “Dogs are dogs, and pit bulls are bred to fight to the death. It doesn’t mean they’re going to, but it’s in the dog’s breeding.”

     Herman said every dog can bite someone, but the statistics point to pit bulls. “You can’t challenge them,” he said of the stats he’s found online. “There are enough sources that say the worst injuries and death are very much tied to pit bulls.”

     Goedken added that some dog owners throughout Monticello are also against lifting the ban, for fear of their small dogs being attacked by pit bulls.

     Those seeking to lift the ban sought signatures from an online petition. Goedken said while the council represents the citizens of Monticello, the petition did not, gaining signatures from across the state.

     “It’s pretty unanimous people here don’t want them walking up and down the street,” he said. Goedken said Monticello doesn’t need to make the news for a pit bull attack any time soon.



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