Trash-hauling costs may be coming down for some residents in Kennett Square Borough
● By Steven Hoffman
Kennett Square Borough residents now have more options when it comes to selecting the size of the toter that their trash is hauled away in—and there will be a reduction in costs for some residents as a result.
Kennett Square Borough Council discussed the new, tiered trash rate proposal at the Oct. 2 meeting. Borough manager Joseph Scalise outlined the proposal, explaining that under the current program, all borough residents pay the same rate for a 96-gallon toter. There are currently opportunities for reduced rates based on income level and age, but nothing on volume.
The goal, Scalise said, is to have the most equitable system possible, so if there is a way to have residents who use less trash to pay less for the trash hauling, that would be beneficial.
Under the new program, there would be three different sizes of toters available—35 gallons, 65 gallons, and 96 gallons. All three of those sizes were on display at borough hall recently so that residents can select which size best suits their needs.
Scalise outlined the rate costs for each size. For the 96-gallon toter, residents would pay $69.07 per quarter, while the 65-gallon toter would be $59.10 per quarter. The rate for the 35-gallon toter would be $49.13 per toter. Overall, Scalise said, there would be a three-percent decrease for borough residents who use the 96-gallon toters and a 15-percent decrease for residents who use the 65-gallon toters. For residents who could get by with a 35-gallon toter, the savings would be even greater. There would still be discounted rates available for senior citizens and senior citizens with low incomes, Scalise said.
Scalise said that approximately 135 residents have already requested 65-gallon toters, while there were 103 requests for 35-gallon toters. It will take between six and eight weeks to order and receive the toters. The new rates would go into effect for the first quarter of 2018.
Council member Geoffrey Bosley said that they are getting more users, which lowers the costs for everyone. Bosley also lauded Scalise for putting the work in to analyze each of the different scenarios so that the borough could arrive at a decision that helps save residents money.
Council member Ethan Cramer pointed out that borough officials started pursuing this option because borough residents had said that they wanted more options that fit their individual needs.
“This is a direct response to residents saying they wanted it,” Cramer said.
Borough council discussed the possibility of establishing a standing personnel committee that would be focused on human resources issues in the borough.
Council members LaToya Myers and Ethan Cramer took the lead on working on the resolution that would establish the personnel committee. Myers explained that the committee could handle some of the leg work that would allow borough council to more efficiently conduct meetings. Another major objective of the personnel committee would be to standardize the tools that borough council will use in the process of compiling work reviews for borough employees.
Other borough council members weren't sure that the resolution, as it was presented, was necessary, and may have even provided too much authority to the committee, rather than council itself.
When a vote was taken, council members Myers, Cramer, and Wayne Braffman voted in favor of it, while council president Dan Maffei, Geoff Bosley, and Doug Doerfler voted against it. With council member Jamie Mallon absent, that left the vote deadlocked at 3-3.
Mayor Matt Fetick was called on to break the tie, which is one of the duties of mayors in Pennsylvania boroughs. Fetick explained that the formation of a standing personnel committee is an important issue because it could affect a lot of people. But since the committee would be a committee of borough council, he thought it would be more appropriate to wait until could could make the decision on its own. So he opted to refer the issue back to borough council. Borough council can now take up the issue at a future meeting.
Fetick also suggested that one path forward might be to form the committee, and then allow the committee members to have input into the scope of their work.
Mary Hutchins, the executive director of Historic Kennett Square, said that the Kennett Brewfest was a success on Saturday, Sept. 30. Historic Kennett Square is now working on plans for the series of events that take place each holiday season.
Hutchins also informed borough council about a meet-the-candidates night that is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 25 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The event will take place at Victory Brewing.
Borough council approved the Special Event Application for the town's Halloween Parade, which will take place on Sunday, Oct. 29. The parade takes place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Trick-or-treat activities will take place on Halloween, Oct. 31.
A new member is needed for the borough's Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs after council agreed to remove Abe Hughes from the list of active members. Hughes missed three meetings in a row. Council member Ethan Cramer said that the reason for the absences may be that Hughes moved out of the borough.
Karen Scherer, the assistant to the borough manager, said that the commission already has someone who has expressed interest in filling the vacancy.
Council also approved the appointment of finance director Lisa Ionata to serve as the borough's treasurer for the remainder of 2017. The finance director has typically also served as the designated treasurer, and Ionata was recently appointed as the new finance director.
Borough council also charged the borough's Civil Service Commission to conduct testing for entry-level police officer position. Police chief Bill Holdsworth said that there are no positions currently available, but authorizing the Civil Service Commission to do the testing would build back up the list of eligible candidates when it does come time to hire someone.