Belle Center to stay in trash business

Additional employee, water tower also discussed

Belle Center Council members voted Thursday to continue to stay in the trash collection business, but left the particulars to be ironed out at a committee meeting that will take place Monday.

After several months of discussing the pros and cons of continuing to provide residential garbage collection versus outsourcing the service to a private company, the resolution passed at the rescheduled regular meeting simply stated that the village would remain in the business.

It passed unanimously with the exception of Councilman John Lowery, who abstained from the vote stating that he would like more information before making a decision.

Councilwoman Dee McIntosh, who heads the village’s enterprise committee, set a meeting for 7 p.m. Monday to discuss particulars, such as how to deal with residents who have previously been allowed to opt out of the village’s garbage collection service.

Solicitor Steve Fansler also suggested that a brand new trash collection ordinance be written to replace the decades-old ordinance and multiple addenda that have been passed over the years.

Council then turned its attention to other matters in the village, including how to deal with aging employees and an aging water tower.

Village Administrator Gerald Houchin broached the employee situation by stating that John Linson, one of the village’s two full-time employees, wishes to retire to take advantage of current Public Employee Retirement System benefits before changes that will take effect next year.

Although Mr. Linson could be rehired as a part-time employee after his retirement, laws prohibit him from working for the village for at least three months after his retirement date.

Mr. Houchin also noted that he is 80 years old and wishes to retire soon although he doesn’t “want to leave the town in the lurch” when doing so.

Read complete story in Thursday's Examiner
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