Dearborn continues to delay decision on trash service

DEARBORN, Mo. — The work to standardize trash service in the City of Dearborn will stretch into the summer. Finally with a quorum, the board of aldermen began discussing the bids received back in March. No action had been taken the past two months due to insufficient members present at the meetings. The four-person board has been operating shorthanded since the death of alderman Steve Buckler in November.

In the April 7 municipal general election, no one ran for the vacant spot.

One member was absent at both the March and April board meeting, meaning the trash service bids remained unacted upon. All About Trash, Deffenbaugh Industries and Redgate Disposal were the three companies to bid.

The board decided to hold a work session later this month – date and time to be determined – before again discussing the matter in May. A decision on which bid, if any, would come at the June meeting.

“I don’t know that everybody bid on everything we asked, and some offer services that weren’t asked, but are important and appreciated. It’s just hard to compare some times,” Ward I alderman Louis Buntin said.

Dearborn Mayor Jamie Morey brought up the idea of standardizing trash service a few years ago, but action has been slow.

The city hopes to save residents money while also reducing wear on roads and alleys attributed to numerous large vehicles from the four companies licensed to haul trash in the city traveling the same areas. Board members began discussions on the bids by talking about commercial exemptions and how to bill the customers.

Businesses requiring dumpsters could be allowed to opt out of the city’s plan in favor of another company, but individual citizens would not. The board seemed to favor the idea of including the privatized trash service on the citizens’ utility bill, although that creates the chance that payments could go delinquent with service continuing.

Morey noted that some citizens attempt to “save trash” throughout the year and dump it all during the city-wide cleanup event, held most recently on May 3 with 90 truckloads of waste hauled away. This is a rare attempt to avoid trash service costs, which would no longer be an option.

“If you’re paying for a service, you’re going to use it,” Morey said.

Early in the meeting, Don Kerns took the oath of office and took the Ward I spot of Sheri Kerns, his wife. However, the board will continue to operate with three people due to the most recent election results. Morey indicated the board would accept volunteers from Ward 2 to serve in the vacant spot after a write-in candidate refused the nomination.

Sheri Kerns served her two-year term as a write-in.

“If anyone knows anybody in town wanting to put themselves out there up here,” Morey said motioning toward the empty seat after Don Kerns and re-elected Ward II alderman Bob Bryan took the oath.