Business owner doesn’t need residential trash service; asks board to opt out

Steve Chapman

Acting president of the Board Lowell Phillips presents Sandy Mason, of the Elk Horn Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, with the city proclamation declaring Sept. 17 through Sept. 23 as Constitution Week. (Photo by Steve Chapman)

John Hull, owner of Screen Masters in Mt. Vernon, asked the Mt. Vernon Board of Aldermen during their meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 10, for a way to opt out of paying for the single-provider residential trash service which Doty Trash Service is scheduled to begin providing in January of 2020.
Hull said he isn’t against the single-provider service, but he doesn’t need residential service as he disposes of his residential trash with his commercial service, and said he doesn’t believe he should have to pay for a service he won’t use.
“What I can’t understand is why I have to pay for that when I don’t even use it,” he said. “I have my own receptacle that I pay. You guys are not getting the commercial account end of it, so I don’t see any reason for that to change. The mayor advised me to call Doty Trash Services and see if they would (provide commercial trash service). I don’t think I should have to go through that. I think I am taking care of my trash in a manner which is the way that we want to make this happen.”
Hull also said there are a number of other business owners in Mt. Vernon who feel they should also be able to opt out.
“There are a number of business owners that are residents of the city, that have their own commercial account,” Hull said, “and they’ve contacted you too, wondering, ‘Why should we have to pay residential and (commercial). Why can’t we just use our commercial and get a deferment from it?’”
 Hull, also a former member of the board of aldermen, proposed that the city begin issuing business licenses, which business owners who want to opt out of the service could use to do so.
“When I was talking to Dave (Eden) back (when I was on the board), we talked about business licenses, too,” he said. “To date, the city hasn’t done that; another thing I think we’re messing up on. I think we really ought to have a business license here in town. That would be one way, if you were going to use the deferment, you would show your business license, and you would be able to use your commercial account rather than a residential account.”
Hull also said, “All I’m asking is a way we can defer out of that … and if not, I would surely like to know why that’s not a feasible option.” He added he would come to the next board meeting to see if they had an answer for him.
The discussion continued, and at one point, an alderman told Hull that if he had been on the board, he would see why the board chose to go with the single-provider trash service, and also said $120 a year for the service wouldn’t hurt Hull financially.
“It’s more the idea of the thing,” Hull responded. “Why would I pay for something that I’m not using, nor am going to use. I’m sure each one of you, if someone came up to you with that, would be (thinking), ‘Why am I doing this?’”
Alderman Jason Haymes stated he voted for the trash service because it was cheaper for most Mt. Vernon residents, while acknowledging it was creating an expense for Hull.
“I voted for this, and the reason that I did is because … it was cheaper for the citizens to do a … trash service like this, except the people who weren’t paying for it, and honestly, that didn’t even enter my mind. So, it’s not cheaper for you.”
Haymes also said having a single-service provider would increase safety on the city streets, which he said would benefit all residents, including Hull.
“We had a lady that … came here and talked about how they’ve got seven or eight trash trucks down their street in a week’s time; sometimes more than that,” he said. “Sometimes it’s the same company with three trucks in a day, and that kind of thing. So, from the standpoint of … for the greater good, when you start thinking about street maintenance … you know there’s a consideration where … you’re benefitting from it if we can reduce the number of 10-wheelers, loaded, going down the street.”
Alderman Steven Fairchild pointed out the contract with Doty provided “a heck of a deal” for the residents of Mt. Vernon.
“You’d be foolish to vote against it,” he said.
“I’m not asking you to vote against it,” Hull replied. “I’m asking you to take care of your business people in town who are also residents.” He left the meeting after he finished speaking.
In other business, Acting President of the Board Lowell Phillips presented Sandy Mason, of the Elk Horn Prairie chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, with a city proclamation declaring Sept. 17 through Sept. 23 as Constitution Week. The board also approved paying $14,745.27 for the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission connection fees to connect the Liberty side of the substation to the city’s metering. The board also approved paying $5,700 for the alley running east of the Mt. Vernon Elementary School parking lot to be paved; traffic entering the school’s parking lot to drop off and pick up students has been rerouted to the alley.
Finally, the board approved paying $5,000 to reinforce a 150-foot long section of Market Street with mesh; the mesh is needed to stabilize the road bed after contaminated soil was removed from the area.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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